Cassidy Stay: 15-year-old Faked Being Dead, Alerted Police to Texas Shooter

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
July 10, 2014 Updated: July 10, 2014

Cassidy Stay faked being dead after a bullet grazed her temple, waited until shooter Ron Haskell left her home, then called the police.

Officers credit the 15-year-old for saving lives after her courageous actions.

Police said that Haskell barged into the Stay home on Wednesday, tying up Cassidy and then the other family members when they came home.

He demanded to know the whereabouts of his ex-wife Melanie Stay. When he didn’t get an answer he liked, he killed the whole family execution-style.

But the bullet intended to kill Cassidy grazed her, leading to her actions.

Ron was headed to another home of Melanie’s family members. After Cassidy called the police, they got there just before him. After that, a chase eventually ended with Haskell being taken into custody.


The Stay family. (Facebook)

Although Cassidy survived, her parents and four siblings did not.

Cassidy is now out of the Intensive Care Unit, grandfather Thomas Stay told the Daily Mail.

She is now conscious.

Haskell had a handful of previous run-ins with law enforcement in Utah, where he had lived with his wife. Neighbors said Haskell’s marriage was so rocky that Stay went to Utah last fall to help her sister escape the relationship and start a new life in Texas.

It was not immediately clear why Haskell showed up in the Houston suburb of Spring on Wednesday, demanding to know where he could find his wife.

“She was very instrumental in helping her sister get here so she could have a fresh start. Katie’s a spitfire. She has energy to stand up for what she believes is right and true,” said Verena Beckstrand, a neighbor who choked back tears as she talked about the family.

“I hadn’t heard anything about (Haskell) at all for a long time, for him to show up here,” she added.

Epoch Times Photo

This booking photo provided by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office shows Ronald Lee Haskell. Haskell, 33, is charged with multiple counts of capital murder in the killings of two adults and four children Wednesday evening, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman said early Thursday. He also is accused of critically wounding a 15-year-old girl in the shooting rampage. (AP Photo/Harris County Sheriff’s Office)

Haskell had previously been jailed in 2008 in Logan, a city about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, on charges of assault and child abuse or neglect, according to a statement released by the Cache County Sheriff’s Office. He was also served last year with a protective order from his ex-wife. It was dismissed in October after the couple filed for divorce, online court records show.

Harris County Constable Ron Hickman said Haskell showed up at the Stay home “in the guise of a FedEx driver wearing a FedEx shirt.”

Haskell had once done work for FedEx but not since January, the company said in a statement.

Online jail records did not list an attorney for Haskell.

His divorce decree issued in February shows that Haskell and Melanie Kaye Haskell were married in 2002 in Orange County, California. They separated in June 2013.

Epoch Times Photo

A photograph, flowers and candles are left on the porch where a fatal home shooting took place Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Spring, Texas. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office says Ronald Lee Haskell was booked Thursday on a capital murder/multiple murders charge and held without bond. Authorities believe Haskell fatally shot two adults and four children on Wednesday night and critically wounded a 15-year-old girl, who called 911. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A judge granted joint custody of the couple’s four children ranging in age from 3 to 11, with Haskell’s wife getting primary custody.

At the time of the divorce, Haskell was making $2,300 a month, although the records do not say what kind of work he did. He was ordered to pay $773 per month in child support. His wife was given the house, valued at $190,000, in the small town of Smithfield, Utah, just outside Logan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.