DALLAS (AP) — The Texas man accused of killing three young children, including one who was his own child, and severely wounding their mother was charged Friday with capital murder, authorities said.
Texas City police Chief Joe Stanton said Junaid Hashim Mehmood, 27, is facing two counts of capital murder along with a charge of aggravated assault. The children's mother was beaten and shot several times in the face and head with a high-powered pellet gun.
Mehmood contacted police and was arrested late Thursday, just hours after the slain children and their mother — 24-year-old Kimaria Nelson — were discovered by officers in an apartment in Texas City.
Mehmood had been identified as a person of interest in the deaths, but he was arrested on an unrelated warrant. Galveston County assistant district attorney Kevin Petroff said it was a misdemeanor warrant for providing alcohol to a minor.
Mehmood was being held in the Galveston County Jail without bond. No attorney is listed for Mehmood in jail records.
Police officers responding to a request for a welfare check at the apartment on Thursday evening discovered the bodies of 1-month-old Ashanti Mehmood, Prince Larry Brown, who would have turned 2 later this month, and 5-year-old Angela Pilot. They had been beaten and stabbed, according to the Galveston County medical examiner's office.
Nelson was alive but unable to speak, police said.
Police said Mehmood is Ashanti's biological father and lived with the family at the apartment. Texas City is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Houston.
Authorities said they have not confirmed a motive in the attack but added they're reviewing a social media post by Mehmood indicating he had become enraged after being fired from his job. He had worked at a Goodwill store in nearby League City, police said. It's not clear when he may have been fired.
Nelson was taken the University of Texas Medical Branch in nearby Galveston. Police said she was in stable condition Thursday evening. A hospital spokesman said Friday he had no information for a patient by her name.
Stanton said Mehmood cooperated with detectives who interviewed him.
"He went into details with our investigators as far as his involvement," Stanton said.
Records show Mehmood has had previous arrests for offenses that include assault. Court records show that in 2015, Mehmood was convicted of assault causing bodily injury for shoving a family member. He was also convicted a year earlier for assault causing bodily injury for striking a girlfriend — not Nelson — with his hand. Following both convictions, the court said it was against the law for him to have a firearm.
He was also convicted of robbery in 2015.
This version of the story corrects to say the children were stabbed and beaten, not shot.