The crazed gun nut who killed a county constable and another person and wounded two others in a shooting near Texas A&M University on Monday was a "ticking time bomb" that was ready to blow, his family said.
"He was crazy as hell," Richard Weaver, gunman Thomas Caffall's stepfather, told Houston station KPRC television.
"At one point, we were afraid that he was going to come up here and do something to his mother and me," Weaver said.
Shawn Kemp, a local acquaintance of Caffall’s, told The Eagle newspaper that he “fits the profile of a dude who might snap.”
Caffall seemed depressed and often talked about guns and war, Kemp told the newspaper.
"I don’t know the guy well, but I’ve been around him enough to know, well, that I’m not surprised at all,” Kemp said, adding that he had heard that Caffall planned to pawn some of his guns to pay his rent.
Caffall, 35, died after being shot by SWAT officers during a 30-minute firefight in College Station, Texas, at around 12:45 p.m.
The shootout started shortly after noon when Caffall shot and killed Brian Bachmann, 41, a Brazos County constable and married father of two, while Bachmann was trying to serve him with a notice to evict his one-story, two bedroom home.
Police responded to the scene and found Bachmann lying wounded in the front yard, and Caffall opened fire on them from inside his house.
Witnesses described hearing a barrage of at least 30 shots from a semiautomatic weapon, as cops dove for cover behind their vehicles and yelled at neighbors to stay inside their homes.
Rigo Cisneros, a neighbor and former Army medic, recorded some of the gunfight while taking cover beneath some bushes his yard, The Eagle reported.
After the shooting stopped, Cisneros told police he was a medic and was given the go-ahead to try to help the mortally wounded officer.
“I performed CPR. There were no vital signs on the constable when I got there,” Cisneros told The Eagle. “He took one clear gunshot wound to the chest.”
Cisneros also said he tried to help Caffall, who he said was shot "several times."
“(He) looked up at me and asked me to apologize to the officer that was shot,” the 40-year-old medic said.
Cisneros said Caffall was conscious when paramedics took him away, The Eagle reported.
He said he never met Caffall before and that the house always seemed to be occupied by new tenants.
Chris Northcliff, 43, a bystander, was caught in the crossfire and fatally shot, authorities said.
Towne Holdsworth, 55, a second innocent bystander, was shot while helping her daughter move into a nearby home.
She was in critical condition after undergoing surgery on Monday.
A second police officer was shot in the calf, while two others were wounded by shrapnel, authorities said.
The shootout took place about a block from Texas A&M's campus, and the school's emergency website issued a "Code Maroon" alert warning students and staffers to avoid the area.
At 12:44 p.m., the school reported that the "shooter was in custody."
Caffall was pronounced dead later at a local hospital.
Police have not identified a motive for the shooting.
Caffall's mother, Linda Weaver, released a statement Monday expressing sorrow for the victims and saying her son was ill, but didn't elaborate.
Richard Weaver told KPRC that he and his wife had not spoken to Caffall for several months.
Caffall, who was divorced, quit his job about nine months ago and swore he would never work for anyone again, Weaver told the station.
"We were hoping he'd kill himself before doing something like this," Richard Weaver said. "We are just devastated for the families this SOB killed."
Caffall was a devoted gun enthusiast who posted several photos of modern and antique rifles to his Facebook page.
On June 7, he posted a photo of a Czech vz. 58 assault rifle and two banana clips, along with a message that he couldn't "wait to try it out on the range."
Another photo showed a Russian Mosin-Nagant rifle and two canisters of ammunition.