MENIFEE (CBSLA.com) — When news that a Texas man had killed four young children and their parents reached a couple in Menifee, their world was changed irrevocably.
Joyce and Tom Stay lost their son, daughter-in-law and four young grandchildren in Wednesday’s tragedy. Now, they’re preparing to go to Texas and make funeral arrangements.
The Stay’s sat down with CBS2/KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz on Thursday night to talk about how they’re coping and reminisce about the happier memories they have of their children.
The proud grandparents said they spent many holidays seated around their dining room table sharing meals and stories with their youngest son, Stephen Stay, and his large family.
“They like to swim, go to parks, picnics, anything that was fun,” Joyce Stay said.
They got a call Wednesday that shattered that happy bond when they learned Stephen, his wife, Katie, and their four children had been shot execution-style at their home.
Police say the shooter is Katie’s former brother-in-law, Ron Haskell.
Stephen and Katie’s oldest child, 15-year-old Cassidy, was also shot but played dead.
When Haskell left, police said, Cassidy called police and said he was going to her other grandparents’ home, also in Texas.
Joyce spoke to Cassidy while she was in the hospital.
“I told her how sorry I was about everything that had happened, but was so grateful that she is still here with us. She said ‘My mom and dad are in a better place now,’ ” the grandmother said.
The Stay’s aren’t angry with Haskell, who dressed up as a FedEx delivery man and led police on a chase in Stephen’s car that ended with his arrest.
They say their faith is getting them through this incredibly difficult time.
Joyce plans on speaking to Haskell’s mother, whose been a family friend for years.
“You have to forgive, and that’s a process. And we can do that even though six of our children have been taken from us,” Joyce said.