Original article no longer available
Roswell Daily Record
Carin Pettersson, Record Staff Writer
March 18, 2002
The victims of Saturday’s shooting continue to fight for their lives as it becomes clear the fire and shooting was done intentionally.
At a press conference held at the Roswell Police Department Sunday, Richard Campbell, chief of police, confirmed the suspect to be Paul Freeman, 27.
“I don’t think there was anything random with his shooting,” Campbell said. “Everyone was shot in the head. They were unfortunately accurate shots.”
Cordell Houghton, 3, was shot in the shoulder and neck area.
According to Eddie Owens, public relations director for Covenant Health Systems in Lubbock, Houghton and Jones are still in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
“I’m afraid it’s not going to be much (good news),” Owens said. “They both suffered very severe gunshot wounds. It’s such a tragedy. It really is.”
Freeman, who worked as a security guard at Town and Country Lanes, was working Saturday evening, but left work abruptly, according to Campbell. Freeman had a history of mental health issues.
“He was on antidepressant medication,” Campbell said. “He was agitated. It can be that he wasn’t taking his medication, but we are only speculating. There has been talk of suicide in the past, according to the girlfriend.” Freeman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The house at 616 Redwood belonged to Freeman’s girlfriend. According to Campbell, Freeman had a history of domestic violence toward his girlfriend, but nothing indicates a history of illegal drug use.
“Our preliminary investigation determined there is no meth lab,” Campbell said. “We found evidence of accelerants inside the house. We believe it was intentional. There is no indication this was an accident.”
According to Freeman’s girlfriend, Freeman had told her that he knew how to make a bomb, and he had threatened her in the past. “He always carried a weapon with him,” Campbell said. “He was constantly in the company of a gun.”
According to Campbell, Freeman took Haily Houghton, 5, as a hostage and used her as a shield as he shot her father, brother, Steve Lovato and Jones. “He had taken the little girl hostage,” Campbell said. “He retreated into a bedroom with the little girl. “There is a sense of shock,” Campbell said. “It is personal, and it is difficult.”