Couple killed outside East Texas church after visiting child from previous marriage

Couple killed outside East Texas church after visiting child from previous marriage

Credit: Family photo via KFDM.com

Nathan Bradley Maddox and Krystal Renee Maddox of Zavalla.

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by AP, KHOU.com, & KFDM.com staff

Associated Press

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 9:00 PM

COLMESNEIL, Texas -- An East Texas man and his wife have been fatally shot outside a church after a supervised visit with his 4-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

The Tyler County Sheriff's Office said Monday no arrests were made and autopsies were scheduled for Nathan Bradley Maddox and Krystal Renee Maddox of Zavalla.

Sheriff Bryan Weatherford said the shooting occurred Saturday afternoon following a court ordered child custody visitation at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

The child and others participating in the court-ordered supervised visit were inside the church when the victims walked outside. A mediator inside called 911 after hearing gunfire.

"The supervisor, once she heard the gunshots, called 911, she ran to the front door and locked it," Weatherford said.

First responders got to the church around 12:30 p.m. where they found the Maddox's. Nobody else was hurt.

Deputies said they've identified persons of interest.

The sheriff said the little girl is in the custody of her maternal grandmother, but that there had been hearings over her permanent custody.

"This was definitely something that law enforcement feels like that as definitely planned. It was not a random act," Weatherford said.

"This is a tragic event for not only you know the families involved but for our whole county," Weatherford said. "We're so tight-knit grouped, everybody knows everybody."

"They were both nice people. I've known the girl since she was young," Garfield Lamon said. He's a preacher at a nearby church. "It's very tragic and you wouldn't think anything like that would happen in our community."

Weatherford said investigators ruled out murder-suicide. He did not release details on suspects or a possible motive in the shootings near Colmesneil, 110 miles northeast of Houston.

Anyone with information can call the Tyler County Sheriff's Office at 409-283-2172 and remain anonymous.

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