MARBLE FALLS, Texas (KXAN) — Police identified the two siblings killed early Tuesday morning after a shooting related to a reported domestic disturbance in Marble Falls. Police said this is the town’s first homicide case since October 2017.
Police said they found Teresa Gail McDowell, 52, lying in the driveway when they responded at about 1:50 a.m. to the home in the 1100 block of Cedar Dr., which is near Pecan Valley Drive close to Lake Marble Falls. Officers then located the body of her 49-year-old brother, John Arnold McDowell.
Police said William Rutland of Burnet immediately surrendered to them when they got to the scene. Online jail records show the 52 year old is facing a charge of capital murder of multiple persons. Marble Falls Police said Tuesday morning he remains in custody.
According to police, Rutland told officers where they could find John McDowell’s body in the side yard of the house.
Both victims were shot and helped by Marble Falls Area EMS, but they were eventually pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Police said they believe Rutland had a past relationship with Teresa.
State records show Rutland has a criminal record dating back to 1997. He’s been previously charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and driving while intoxicated, among other charges.
Because of Teresa and Rutland’s relationship history, Marble Falls Chief of Police Glenn Hanson said this crime is an example of how dire it can be to exit an abusive relationship.
“If you’re the victim of an abuser or in an abusive relationship, there are people that will help you,” said Hanson. “Please reach out and let us help.”
Neighbors along Cedar Drive said they would occasionally hear arguments coming from the home where the shooting took place, but never thought things could escalate to murder.
Cheryl Matthews lives two houses down from the crime scene. She said the deaths have rocked others beyond her neighborhood. She said she’s fielded texts from friends across town asking if she was alright given the crime’s proximity.
“It was a shock to everyone on the block,” said Matthews. “You know, we felt like maybe we could have done something.”
Hanson encourages those in need of support for domestic violence to contact Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center in Marble Falls. Visit its website here.