5 dead in mass shooting at Blanchard ranch

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Five family members were found fatally shot at the Delaney Ranch in Blanchard Monday.

By Valerie Reddell

At about 10:30 a.m. Monday, first responders were called to the Delaney Ranch in the 3600 block of FM 3126, where law enforcement officials found five people dead, apparently from gunshot wounds.

At a news conference Monday night, Chief Deputy Byron Lyons identified the deceased as Carlos Eugene Delaney, 74; Lynda Delaney, 72; their granddaughter, Ashley Delaney Horn, 27; her husband, Randy Horn, 54; and their 15-month-old daughter, Ranley. Lynda Delaney, Ashley Horn and the infant were found outside. Carlos Delaney and Randy Horn were found inside.

The Delaneys raised miniature horses and free-range chickens at the ranch nine miles west of Livingston. Their granddaughter Ashley was an outside sales representative for Humble Industrial Services where co-workers described her as “a very sweet, outgoing and kind girl.”

Vice President Suzanne Few knew all the victims in Monday’s horrific event.

“Ashley was a go-getter in outside sales,” Few said.

Her description puts Ashley in that special breed of young Texas women who have an elegant demeanor and posture who don’t balk at wearing boots and heading out to construction sites to meet with customers.

“Her grandparents were an important part of the community as well,” Few said. “Her grandfather worked as a welder and was very talkative. He and his wife were very sweet and talkative.”

Ashley’s mother was in the home at Delaney Ranch at the time of the shooting. Lyons said she was awakened at about 5 a.m. by the sound of the shots being fired. She called her brother, who summoned authorities.

Lyons said this unnamed woman was not physically injured in the attack, and was being interviewed by investigators. “She is not a suspect,” Lyons emphasized.

When deputies, game wardens, and officers from Livingston Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived, they found three victims outside the home and two others inside.

Lyons stopped short of describing the mass shooting as a murder-suicide, saying he was waiting for the results of autopsies scheduled for Thursday in Beaumont. He also declined to describe the weapon used, but did say at least one firearm was recovered at the scene.

The chief deputy also said Polk County residents should not be in fear that a suspect is at large in the community. “We are not searching for a suspect,” he said — indicating that investigators are awaiting additional evidence before making a definitive statement.

In addition to information from the sole survivor, investigators are looking into Randy Horn’s Facebook posts, including this Feb. 10 post: “It’s time to pay up for all the bad decisions you made in life…never bet your life on someone because you never know.”

Later in the night, Horn posted a photo that appears to be blood splatter on a polished concrete floor and the caption, “And this is why I can’t be out in the bars at night.”

Lyons said social media is one of the avenues being investigated.

“We are aware of the Facebook page made by Randy Horn, we are in the process of trying to determine if that actual picture that he took is part of our crime scene here or did it take place at a location that he was at last night,” Lyons said.

Randy Horn’s Facebook profile did not list any employment information. Horn is listed as the host of a 2016 a Houston Open Ring Nationals boxing tournament sanctioned by USA Boxing.

Gabriel Bernal, owner of Texas Hard Hitters Boxing Club, Powered by Movida, told the Enterprise he purchased Texas Hard Hitters from Horn in February 2017.

“He had one of the largest amateur tournaments in the state and, at one time, was President of Gulf Boxing,” Bernal said. “In 2016, I came and started helping kids at the gym, that’s where we crossed paths. He told me he was getting out of boxing.”

“You’d be hard pressed to find someone affiliated with amateur boxing who didn’t know Randy,” Bernal added.

Bernal said his business hasn’t had any ties to Horn since the purchase was completed. He believes Horn supported himself by running dart tournaments and other events. Horn’s Facebook posts frequently included mentions of poker tournaments.

Updates will be posted as this ongoing investigation develops.