Gunman, 69, kills his stepfather and two others before shooting himself

By Calvin Palmer

A 69-year-old man pulled two semi-automatic handguns from a briefcase and killed three people yesterday in a gated community in San Antonio.

Joseph Ray McDonald then shot himself, San Antonio police Sgt Chris Benavides said.

The victims were McDonald’s stepfather and owner of the house, Arthur DeBaun, 88, Heather Monroe, 40, and Jeffrey Monroe, 41.

They were all shot multiple times and were found dead in the living room and kitchen area of the house.

The shootings began shortly after 8:00 pm at a small gated community in San Antonio’s affluent north side.

The woman’s children – aged eight, 10 and 14 — were playing outside when the shootings occurred. They ran back into the house when they heard gunfire and escaped through the front door to alert neighbors.

Police officers found McDonald in a bedroom, face down with a gunshot wound to the head. His body partly covered one of the pistols. Another pistol, with the hammer pulled back, was next to his right hand.

The relationship between the Monroes and McDonald and DeBaun was not immediately clear.

Police are still trying to determine a motive for the killings.

Benavides said Heather Monroe was moving into DeBaun’s home in Fawnfield Lane. In public databases, she appears as Heather DeBaun Monroe, suggesting she might be related to DeBaun.

She and Jeffery Monroe were married but possibly estranged. A police report shows a Waco address for Jeffery Monroe and lists the Fawnfield Lane address for Heather Monroe.

The children are staying with grandparents.

[Based on reports by the Associated Press and San Antonio Express-News.]

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4 responses to “Gunman, 69, kills his stepfather and two others before shooting himself

  1. Lee Butler

    Art DeBaun was a retired chief master sergeant in the USAF. Years ago, I frequently played golf with him at Randolph Oaks, the base golf course. After he moved further from Randolph, I only saw him on occasion. He was a very intelligent man and well-liked by his superiors and peers. RIP Art.

  2. Wes-Tex-Rex

    I am in complete shock at the actions of Joe Ray McDonald. I lost track of him 20 years ago, but he had been bright and personable. I met him in the late 1970’s when he placed an ad in a San Antonio paper wanting to sell 4 scarlet macaws he and his wife had brought into the US from Honduras. He had been a stockbroker there for a major US firm, and had many well placed contacts in the local government. He later used his connections in South America to stock a rare bird aviary managed by his mother. Mary McDonald Estes, in Utopia Texas. I helped her get it established, then lost track of them after they moved, possibly to Spring Branch, TX.

    • saskia bruchmann

      DO you know how to get in touch with Maggie ( Joe Rays wife/ex wife)?
      My father was a good friend of him and his wife when they lived in Honduras and we visited with them in Tx .

      My father asked me to help him find the mcdonalds and doing some searches I came to find this horrible tragedy. I found what I think are Joe Rays son and daughter, JR and Elise’s profiles on facebook but their profiles are private and cant get in touch with them there.

      thank you

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