San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers says 43-year-old Kenneth Allan Rutledge killed his stepmother and critically injured his stepsister before turning the gun on himself Monday night at the family’s home on the 900 block of Forest Valley Drive, off of FM 2025, in the Cleveland area Monday night.
“He told people that the cartel was after him and he was running from them. He went crazy, shot and killed his stepmother on the back porch of her home and then went inside the house and shot his stepsister,” Capers said.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the home around 9:20 p.m. Monday and, after assessing the situation, set up a roadblock in the neighborhood to block the gunman from fleeing. The Texas Rangers assisted the sheriff’s deputies in setting up the perimeter.
“The road was shut down for almost three hours. The Rangers managed to get him on the phone and he started sounding like himself again,” Capers said.
The suspect was sitting in his truck outside his father’s home when authorities heard a gunshot and then heard the revving of the truck engine. When they approached the vehicle, they found Rutledge suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“EMS tried life-saving measures on him and were transporting him to Kingwood when they diverted to Cleveland. When he arrived at the hospital in Cleveland, he was pronounced dead by medical staff,” Capers said.
Based on information his investigators have gleaned of the shooter, Capers said it is believed that Rutledge was high on methamphetamine at the time of the shooting.
“He had been off and on drugs, but it had taken over his life and he had a bad episode,” Capers said.
His stepmother, Mingli Shannon, 52, and stepsister, Siqi Zhang, 30, were Chinese immigrants to the U.S. and were working for the China One restaurant in Cleveland. Capers said that Zhang is in critical condition at a Houston-area trauma center. Capers is uncertain if she was shot once or multiple times as the Rangers are now handling the investigation.
Rutledge lived in a separate home on the same property as his father, Johnny Rutledge.