Eric King and Randy McIIwain, NBC 5 News
Erbie Bowser, 44, has been arrested in the fatal shooting of four people in two Dallas-area homes, and police were investigating Thursday if he used a grenade or other explosive in one of the attacks.
A former member of the Dallas Mavericks all-male dance team is suspected of attacking the homes of his estranged wife and his girlfriend, killing the women and two of their children and wounding four other youths late Wednesday night.
Police say Erbie Bowser, 44, shot and killed his girlfriend and her 17-year-old daughter in Dallas and then traveled to nearby DeSoto and killed his estranged wife and her 28-year-old daughter.
Bowser is charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of his estranged wife, Zina Bowser, 47; and her daughter, Neima Williams, 28; in DeSoto.
Dallas police are preparing two capital murder charges in connection with the deaths of Toya Smith, 43; and her daughter, Tasmia Allen, 17, a Duncanville High School and a member of the drill team.
Four children and teenagers were injured in the two shootings: in Dallas, Toya Smith's 14-year-old son, Storm; and 17-year-old Dazmine Mitchell, a friend of Tasmia Smith; and in DeSoto, Zina Teal's two sons, 13-year-old Chris White and 11-year-old Miles White.
They are all receiving treatment at area hospitals.
Dallas police interviewed Mitchell on Thursday afternoon after she was out of surgery. Smith's 14-year-old son remained in critical condition, Dallas police said Thursday evening.
Chris and Miles White are also in critical condition, DeSoto police said.
Williams' son, 3-year-old Cohlin Williams, was inside the DeSoto home at the time of the shooting but was not injured. He is now with relatives, DeSoto police said.
Police in Dallas and DeSoto, as well as FBI and ATF agents, are investigating the shootings.
Erbie Bowser Taken Into Custody at Scene in DeSoto
DeSoto police took Erbie Bowser, 44, into custody at about 11 p.m. after responding to both a 911 call and a call from Dallas police about a home in the 100 block of Galleria Drive.
Earlier, Dallas police officers found four people shot, two fatally, at a home in the 7100 block of Long Canyon Trail at about 10:30 p.m., Dallas police spokesman Sgt. Warren Mitchell said.
Police investigating the Dallas shooting quickly identified a person of interest and a connection to the Galleria Drive address in DeSoto. Dallas police notified DeSoto police of their investigation and said officers were headed to the residence on Galleria Drive.
At about that same time, DeSoto officers were dispatched to the Galleria Drive home after a child inside the residence called 911.
According to DeSoto police Cpl. Melissa Franks, DeSoto officers arrived at the Galleria Drive home at about 10:45 p.m. and found four gunshot victims, two of whom were deceased.
Bowser, who was in the home, was not injured and was taken into custody.
Police took Bowser to a hospital to be examined, and Franks said detectives have found him difficult to interview.
"He does lapse into periods where he sits there quietly or wants to lay down or doesn't want to speak," she said.
Explosion Went Off at DeSoto Home
Police said Bowser set off some type of explosion at the DeSoto home before shooting the four victims.
Tommy Johnson, who lives nearby, said he heard a loud boom coming from the direction of the home.
"We thought it was coming from upstairs, because the kids are always upstairs making noise," he said. "I went up and asked, 'Did y'all hear anything?' and one of my daughters said it came from outside, so I peeped out the front, and that's when I saw a bunch of officers walking down the sidewalk and about 10 houses up."
The explosion was big enough to blow out walls on the home's first floor, but police do not believe it injured anyone.
DeSoto police have referred questions about the explosion to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
ATF agents do not know exactly what type of explosion occurred, and a determination could take up to two weeks.
Federal charges are possible, the ATF said.
"We will be talking with the U.S. Attorney's Office to talk about any applicable federal charges pertaining to possessive use of explosives," ATF spokesman Russ Morrison said.
Investigators did not find any other explosive devices in the home.
Family Members of Victims Speak
Lurlean Smith, Toya Smith's mother, said her daughter died in her arms. Her daughter had been dating Bowser, she said.
"I been telling her for the past two years, 'Leave that guy alone,' because he just had a history of violence," Lurlean Smith said.
She said she was on the phone with her daughter just minutes before the shooting and believed something was wrong. When she went to the house to check on the situation, she could hear her daughter moaning and gasping for breath through the window.
Mitchell, who was also shot, managed to open the door to the home. Smith said she found Tasmia Smith shot in the back of the head and believes she was trying to run away from her attacker.
Smith said she believes all of the victims tried to escape.
"Her door was open," she said. "The car was open. Evidently, they were trying to get away."
Carolyn Webb, Zina Bowser's godmother, said, "I love her and those kids, too, and I don't know what else to say."
"They can't do enough to him," she said. "How do you tear a family up like that? ... He's just torn so many hearts. He's torn so many people up."
Protective Order Taken Out in 2011
Zina Bowser obtained a protective order in February 2011 after an associate judge reported that "family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future." It barred her husband from coming within 200 yards of her and her children and from communicating with the children. He later was arrested for violating the order.
In seeking the order, Zina Bowser said her husband had threatened the lives of her and her sons after she asked for a separation. According to her, Erbie Bowser told her that if she tried to take any of their belongings, "I will bury you." She said he took a pocketknife from a drawer, opened it and said, "Call the police and I will execute your kids."
She called 911 anyway and fled with her sons, and Erbie Bowser was arrested.
Suspect Is Former ManiAAC Dancer, Teacher
The Dallas Mavericks said Thursday that Bowser performed from 2002 to 2009 with its Dallas Mavs ManiAACs, which the NBA team describes as dance troupe made up of "beefy men" who entertain fans during games. Bowser is 6-foot-7-inches tall and weighs 355 pounds, according to court records.
Bowser worked for nearly a decade as a special education teacher in Mesquite. School district spokeswoman Laura Jobe said Thursday he resigned in 2010 "on good terms." He also worked for a couple of seasons as a football coach at West Mesquite High School, she said.
Bowser served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army from October 1991 to November 2000. The U.S. Army media relations department said he served in the infantry at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii and at Fort Drum in New York. He was never deployed overseas. The Army said it does not release information about whether a soldier is honorably or dishonorably discharged.
Bowser has had several previous brushes with the law, including most recently an arrest for violating a protective order, though the charges appear to have been dismissed. In 2011, Bowser was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, though the outcome of that case is unclear. The only convictions he has are from charges in 1989 for evading arrest and an alcohol related incident -- both on the same date.
NBC 5 reporters Kendra Lyn, Jeff Smith, Eric King, Randy McIlwain and Julie Fine contributed to this report.
More Dallas-Fort Worth-Area Stories: