[Updated at 6:30 p.m. CT]
DALLAS — A man suspected of killing four people and injuring four others in an overnight rampage is a former member of a popular all-male Dallas Mavericks cheer team.
Erbie Bowser, 44, was arrested by police outside a home in DeSoto, a bedroom community just south of Dallas. According to The Dallas Morning News, Bowser allegedly threw a hand grenade into the living room of the home before shooting and killing his estranged wife, Zina Bowser, and her daughter, 28-year-old Neima Williams, and wounding two boys, ages 11 and 13, before running out of bullets.
A neighbor in DeSoto, Tommy Johnson, told the Associated Press that he heard a loud boom on Wednesday night coming from the direction of the home where the victims were later found.
“We thought it was coming from upstairs, because the kids are always upstairs making noise,” Johnson 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.”
Shortly before the DeSoto shooting, police say they believe Bowser shot up a home in southwest Dallas, killing his girlfriend, Toya Smith, and her 17-year-old daughter, Tasmia Allen. Two teenage boys were also seriously wounded.
The Dallas Morning News obtained court records describing a previous death threat Bowser had allegedly made to Zina Bowser:
In a protective order Zina Bowser filed against her husband, she described a January 2011 incident during which he threatened the lives of her and her boys after she suggested that he move out of the home they shared on Galleria.
She said he refused to give her anything in the split and if she tried to take anything, “you are going to see what happens.”
“What’s going to happen?” she asked.
At that point, she said, Bowser approached her menacingly, bumped her with his stomach, pointed a finger in her face and said, “I will bury you.”
Zina Bowser said he then grabbed a pocketknife out of the nightstand, flipped it open and warned her, “Call the police and I will execute your kids.”
She called 911 anyway, and Bowser was arrested after she and her boys ran from the home.
From 2002 to 2009, Bowser was a member of the Mavs ManiAACs, a hip-hop dance troupe of beefy guys who entertain fans at Dallas home basketball games.
A Facebook page belonging to an Erbie Bowser from Dallas includes promotional Mavs ManiAAC photos posted in 2009 and 2011. An old bio on a Mavericks webpage listed Bowser (nicknamed “E-Luv”) as being 6-foot-7, 399 pounds and employed as a special education teacher.
An official with a Dallas-area school district told The Dallas Morning News that Bowser taught there for nearly nine years before leaving on good terms in 2010.
“From what I understand, he was a very likeable guy,” Laura Jobe, an administrative officer for the Mesquite ISD, told the newspaper. “He was described to me as a gentle giant; never anything violent about him. In fact, just the opposite.”