A Dallas man who once belonged to the first all-male dance squad in the NBA stands accused of bursting into a fit of rage that left four dead and four others wounded Wednesday night.
Authorities in Dallas are trying to piece together what prompted popular teacher and local sports entertainer Erbie Bowser, 44, to go on the shooting rampage — during which he also wielded a hand grenade — that they believe was targeted at an ex-girlfriend, who was among the victims.
In the first of two incidents, Toya Smith, 43, and Tasmia Allen 17 were found dead at a home on a tree-lined street, the Dallas Morning News reported, possibly after an argument between Smith and Bowser.
That shooting took place just minutes after Smith spoke to her mother Lurlean on the phone, who suspected something violent was about to take place, and arrived to find the grisly scene. When she got to the home, she discovered her daughter struggling to stay alive, her granddaughter Tasmia already dead and her 14-year-old grandson shot. She told police a fourth shooting victim was a friend of her daughter’s. Smith was dead by the time police arrived. The two survivors were hospitalized in critical condition.
“Her door was open, the car was open, evidently they were trying to get away,” Lurlean Smith told KXAS-TV.
After the first shooting, police say Bowser went to a house in nearby DeSoto, Tex., and threw a hand grenade into the living room before he opened fire, killing two unidentified women and wounding two children. A 3-year-old child was left unharmed and taken into custody. Police believe the victims in the second shooting, which took place about 15 minutes after the first, were Bowser’s ex-wife and children.
Police took Bowser, into custody without incident at the scene of the second shooting, and he reportedly pretended to be one of the victims at first, the Morning News reported. He then gave a supposed name, military rank and serial number. U.S. Army records indicate he served from from 1991 to 2000, rising to the rank of staff sergeant.
Bowser also has an arrest record that includes a 2011 violation of a protective order and evading arrest and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Through the 2011 season, Bowser was part of the all-male Dallas maniAACs dance team, a locally popular group of beefy entertainers who performed at Maverick’s games and other special events in the area.
The 6-foot-7, nearly 399-pound man went by the name E-Luv, according to the website. He is not listed on the site for the 2012-2013 season and it is unclear if he was to return for the coming season. He was also a special education teacher and volunteer coach in the Mesquite, Tex., Independent School District between 2001 and 2010.