7 shot dead while opening X'mas gifts in US

Investigators believe seven people who were found dead on Christmas Day were cleaning up holiday wrapping paper when they were shot inside a suburban Fort Worth apartment.

Though investigators were meticulously searching the apartment for clues, the motive remained unclear as police worked into Monday morning trying to piece together what happened.

All of the victims appeared to be related, and Grapevine police said they believe the shooter was among the dead.

The four women and three men, aged 18 to 60, were found dead in an adjoining kitchen and living room area when police arrived on Sunday, soon after receiving a 911 call in which no one was on the other line, said Sergeant Robert Eberling of Grapevine police.

Two handguns were found near the bodies, he said.

"It appears they had just celebrated Christmas. They had opened their gifts," Eberling said, adding that the apartment was decorated for the holiday, including a tree.

None of the victims has been identified but Eberling said it appears they all died of gunshot wounds.

Lieutenant Todd Dearing said investigators believe the victims were related, although some were visiting and didn't live in the apartment.

"Seven people in one setting in Grapevine, that's never happened before. Ever," Dearing said.

Jose Fernandez, a 35-year-old heavy equipment mechanic who moved to the complex with his family about six months ago, said he always felt safe in the area, but is now afraid to let his 10-year-old son play freely outside.

"This is really outrageous, especially on Christmas," he said. "This has shocked everybody. It has scared everybody. I guess something like this can happen anywhere. But seven people dead -- it's just very scary."

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