A Cedar Hill pastor whose body was found inside his burning home last Februarydied of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner. The pastor’s two daughters and wife died in the fire, whose origin remains unclear.
At about 4:30 a.m. Feb. 28, a Cedar Hill police officer was the first to arrive outside a burning home at 705 Lovern Street. The officer spotted several people on the second floor trying to escape the flames and drove his squad car onto the lawn to use as a makeshift ladder to help pull them to safety.
Firefighters arrived a short time later and began attacking the fire. Once the fire was out, the bodies of three people were found inside — Pastor Eugene Keahey, his wife Deanna Keahey and their 15-year-old daughter Camryn Keahey. Keahey’s 17-year-old daughter, Darryn Keahey, was hospitalized after the fire and died of her injuries more than a month later, on April 1.
The Keahey’s lived in the home with two other family members, both of whom escaped the fire without serious injury.
On Friday, the medical examiner said Eugene Keahey died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while his daughters and wife died of burns and smoke inhalation.
For neighbors here on Lavon street, news of the medical examiner’s report is difficult to accept
“I was shocked, I really was, I didn’t know what to think I was shocked,” said King.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s report paints a clearer picture of what happened inside of the home by revealing that Eugene Keahy died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“I think it is going to answer a lot of questions for a lot of our community members who were trying to determine why or what happened. and now we have another piece of the puzzle,” said Chief Eli Reyes, Cedar Hill Pol Neighbors say the Keahy family kept to themselves but news of their death hit the community hard…
“I still look at it and think people lost their lives in there, and they could have had a well long life if they had just reached out,” said neighbor Chihauna Hunter.
The cause of the fire, considered suspicious, is also still unknown. The Cedar Hill Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are waiting on laboratory results from samples submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety laboratory to determine how the fire started. Meanwhile, the Dallas County Medical Examiner has classified the deaths of the pastor’s teenage daughters and wife as homicides.
The pastor’s cause of death being ruled a suicide by gun gives credibility to reports from neighbors who said they heard gunfire before seeing smoke and flames coming from the home. Cedar Hill police initially discounted those reports suggesting neighbors may have heard aerosol cans exploding or windows breaking.