UPDATE: Lufkin shooting victims family speaks about their loss

Family says the McClendons separated, but lived next door to one another.
Family says the McClendons separated, but lived next door to one another.
Oranell Williams
Oranell Williams
Latres Knox
Latres Knox

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) –Police say a Lufkin shooting left one woman dead and a man in critical condition.

Friday night all Lufkin police units responded to the scene of a shooting on the corner of Paul and Garvan streets in Lufkin.

Witnesses tell investigators, 78-year-old Christine McClendon had already been shot by her husband, 86-year-old Maurell McClendon, who she was separated from but lived next door to.

It's believed Maurell was then shot twice, possibly by police officers.

"We all never saw him coming to shoot his wife," said Latres Bagley Knox, the McClendons granddaughter.

"He took my momma, how can anybody process that," said Oranell Williams, the McClendons daughter.

Williams says her father, Maurell McClendon lived right next door to her mother. Family says Christine McClendon was reportedly gardening in her front yard when her husband, shot and killed her.

"I can't believe this happened. I can't believe my mom, I won't ever get to talk to her again," said Williams.

She says her father still owns the house her parents lived in together for years.

"He just one day up and left," said Williams.

Christine then bought the house next door, to concentrate on raising ten children. Family says Maurell moved back, and was a next door neighbor to his wife he remained legally married to.

"They lived like that and they didn't bother each other," said Knox.

The tragedy has left their loved ones dumb-founded.

"Nobody ever, in a million years would have ever thought this," said Williams.

"Yes I'm upset, I'm mad because it's my grandfather and I still love him and I do want to ask him specifically why," asked Knox.

Neighbors say if there was something going on between them, the McClendons kept it to themselves.

"They were quiet, they didn't bother nobody," said Elberta Handy.

Handy and her mother, Hattie Fowler say they were good people. She recalls many pleasant conversations with Maurell.

"Sometimes we would sit and we'd talk about the bible and about the Lord," said Fowler.

Christine's daughter says her mother was a pillar of strength within the family, a role she must now take on.

"I'm going to be strong for my mom."

Witnesses told investigators that the initial officers on the scene commanded Maurell McClendon to drop the gun, but instead the alleged shooter moved toward Christine who was already down.

Police say officers engaged the suspected shooter with gunfire, and that Maurell was shot.

According to Detective J.B. Smith, Maurell was taken to the ETMC hospital in Tyler where he's on a respirator. The hospital says no media can contact him at this time.

Smith says the officers involved will use the next day or two to decompress, as the investigation continues.

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