Amber Ketran was sitting in the garage with her dad when they heard the shots on Saturday.
Like many people in their Haltom City neighborhood, they thought the noises were fireworks. She and her father went outside and saw dirt flying up in a neighbor’s yard, and they realized the sound was gunshots.
The two ran inside as the shots continued. Those first bursts of gunfire they heard, she said, were the shots that killed Collin Davis. According to police, Edward Freyman shot and killed Davis, 33, and Amber Tsai, 32, at about 6:45 p.m. at Tsai’s home in the 5700 block of Diamond Oaks Drive North. Freyman also shot and wounded three police officers and a woman who lives across the street before killing himself, authorities said.
Neighbors said Freyman, 28, was Tsai’s boyfriend and appeared to have been living at her house. Police have said the shooter and victims knew each other but did not disclose details of their relationship.
Earlier that day at about 11:45 a.m., Ketran said, Freyman came to her family’s door and spoke to them for the first time. He asked if he could borrow a crowbar to move a boulder, she said, and she gave him a large pole.
At about noon, Freyman went to Krystyn Rodriguez’s house, next door to Tsai’s home, and told Rodriguez her gate was open, and shook her hand, Rodriguez told the Star-Telegram.
Rodriguez and Ketran both said it was odd behavior from the man they’d only seen from a distance and didn’t think to be very social.
Minutes before the shooting, Ketran and her dad saw Davis pull up on his motorcycle in front of Tsai’s house. Ketran did not know Tsai or Davis personally, but saw Freyman at the house frequently enough that she believes he lived there.
Tsai and Davis were “great friends,” Tsai’s sister told the Dallas Morning News.
When Ketran and her dad saw Davis on his motorcycle just before the shooting, he drove slowly down the street and pulled in front of the house. Police said he was killed in the driveway, and Tsai was killed inside the house.
When she realized the bangs were gunshots, Ketran called 911. She learned later that her neighbor across the street had already called the police after she was hit by a bullet. The woman, Ketran said, was in her living room when the bullets went through her house and she was hit in the leg. She was still in the hospital Tuesday.
The police arrived quickly, Ketran said, and ran through the yard with their guns drawn.
Ketran’s niece had been at Rodriguez’s house, she said.
Rodriguez ran outside when Davis was shot to see if he was OK, but the police told her to get back.
“I saw him on the ground,” Rodriguez said. “I just froze. I didn’t know what way to run.”
Rodriguez said she and her family are still processing what happened. The family was in the back yard and the kids were playing when the shooting started.
“It’s not even the Fourth yet,” her son yelled, throwing his hands in the air and mistaking the gunshots for fireworks.
But when the gunshots continued, the family realized what it was and went inside.
Now Rodriguez said she, her family and most of the neighborhood are going to need time to heal from what they experienced.
“Every time we walk outside, it’ll be there,” Rodriguez said.
The neighbors took cover inside their homes as the shooting continued.
They watched as Freyman shot at the cops, and three of them were hit by bullets. One of them was pulled into an SUV and another ran into the Ketrans’ yard after being hurt. Some officers returned fire, police said, and Freyman ran out of the back of the house. Authorities estimated Freyman fired hundreds of rounds.
Ketran said she has had some negative experiences with law enforcement, but gained a new respect for them after Saturday.
“I have so much respect for the police and what they did that day,” she said. “I know it was scary, but they protected everybody and saved lives.”
Ketran’s parents have lived on the street for 20 years, and while Haltom City has some “bad” areas, Ketran said, the neighborhood has always felt safe.
“But as far as this guy having an AR-15 two doors down, it can happen anywhere,” she said.
Police have said Freyman had a “military-style rifle” and a handgun, both of which were found near his body after he shot himself about half a mile away from the original shooting scene.
According to Army public affairs, Freyman was enlisted as an infantryman in the U.S. Army from October 2014 to October 2019 and attained the noncommissioned rank of sergeant. Freyman joined the Texas Army National Guard in October 2019 after he left the Army. He served as a sergeant infantryman until March 2021.
He was never deployed, according to the Army.
The Texas Military Department said Freyman was honorably discharged from the National Guard after completing his term. He does not appear to have a criminal record in Tarrant County, according to court records.
A neighbor who has spoken with Tsai’s family told WFAA-TV that Tsai talked with her sister about Freyman suffering from PTSD.
“Amber, with her heart, wanting to help him,” Mabel Figueroa told WFAA, “It was something beyond like her sister said, was beyond her help. I believe that’s how this tragedy cost her life.”
A GoFundMe for Collin Davis’ funeral expenses started by his cousin Melody Hallmark says he was “senselessly killed July 2nd in the Haltom City mass shooting” when he went to Tsai’s house expecting “to have a small hang with his long time gal pal.”
Hallmark told KTVT-TV that Davis was her first best friend.
“When you walked into the room, everyone wanted to hang out with him, wanted to know more about him, wanted to be his friend. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like Collin,” she said.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, the Haltom City Police Department said two of the injured officers, Officer Jose Avila and Corporal Zach Tabler, remain hospitalized but are in good spirits. Officer Tim Barton was released from the hospital on Sunday and is recovering at home.
Authorities have not commented on a motive for the shooting. The Texas Department of Public Safety has taken over the investigation and did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
“All involved officers have been placed on administrative leave per policy while the incident is being investigated by the Texas Rangers,” Haltom City police said in a news release Tuesday. “We will not release information or respond to additional inquiries until the investigation is complete. This will protect the integrity of the investigation and ensure the most accurate information.”
The shooting shook up the neighborhood, Ketran said. Afterward, another neighbor hung blue ribbons up to show support for the police.
“I feel so bad for the kids,” Ketran said Tuesday. “We didn’t even shoot off fireworks yesterday because it was so traumatizing.”