Police say Randy J. Horn shot and killed his wife, his 15-month-old daughter, and his wife’s grandparents and then, turned the gun on himself at the Delaney ranch in Polk County, Texas early Monday morning.
When authorities arrived at the farmhouse in Livingston, they discovered two men dead inside the house and the three females, a baby, her mother, and her great-grandmother, all dead outside of the house.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are investigating.
The deceased are Carlos Eugene Delaney, 74, his wife Lynda Kay Delaney, 72, their granddaughter Ashley Delaney Horn, 27, and her husband Randy J. Horn, 54, and the baby, Ranley Jo Horn, who celebrated her first birthday just three months ago. All were shot by Randy Horn police said, including the gunman himself who apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Local Livingston, Texas friends and family early on identified Horn as the person responsible for the slaughter of the family.
The Delaney ranch is not an ostentatious ranch rather a family one with barns and horses, goats and Texas Longhorn cattle. Now it’s patriarch and matriarch are dead, their granddaughter and one of the youngest in the family, all slain.
Family and friends are in shock.
Ron Delaney, Gene and Lynda’s son and great-uncle to Ashley has thanked people for the prayers and support. And offered another possible ending for Horn.
“Many of you already know there was a mass shooting at Delaney Ranch In Polk County. Yes it was my parents Ranch. My parents along with my niece Ashley and Great niece Ranley were all murdered and at this we don’t know if Randy took his own life or if I my dad was able to shoot him before he passed away. Thanks for all the messages and calls. Please say a prayer for us as we deal with this tragedy and loss of a huge part of the family.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Ashley Delaney Horn & Her Baby Ranley Jo Horn
Ashley Delaney Horn was married to Randy J. Horn. The couple shared interests including their own dart tournament business, boxing and for Randy at least, poker. A bar called Players was where he hung out and where the darts teams played. They also have an Instagram account for “Horns Boxing.” He was a professional boxer known as Randy “Hurricane” Horn.
A complicated timeline of their relationship is intertwined with a previous relationship for her and a previous marriage for him. But based on their social media, filled with photos of the couple and their child, always smiling, it appeared a loving union.
Ranley Jo Horn was born on Nov. 10, 2017. The child was just 15 months old. Her life had only just begun. But by all accounts, her short life, based on photos shared by her parents and other family members, including her great-grandparents, she was loved.
Her father, Randy Horn, was in the habit of posting about two things on his Facebook; his wife and baby, and poker.
Ashley was a sales representative at Humble Industrial Services, worked in shipping and receiving, parts administration and report-writing at other area business including a petroleum company and a contractor.
A graduate of Splendora High School, with her husband, ran Horns Dart Tournaments. A small business that promoted darts at the local bar, Players, where Randy Horn also promoted and played poker regularly.
On Sunday late afternoon, Randy Horn posted what now appears to be an ominous message or perhaps threat or warning.
“It’s time to pay up for all the bad Decisions you made in life…never bet your life on someone because you never know….”
Ashley and Randy Horn were married in the spring of 2017. She filed for divorce from him in October of 2018, but the case was dismissed a month later.
Ashley’s Friends & Family Are Grieving
Misty Robison says that Ashley was her sister if not by blood, by heart.
“The family I lost today just isn’t bearable in so many ways. I loved y’all so much, you always treated me like your grand-daughter and Ashley was my sister. Ranley baby I wish I would have been around you more. The pain is beyond anything I’ve felt. I honestly don’t believe it. Idk how I’ll ever heal from this.”
Rest in peace beautiful Ashley, her precious baby girl, and sweet grandparents💔🙏 Our collective hearts are broken and go out to the Delaney Family & Friends 💔 😢🙏,” wrote Crystal Ball Hale.
“My Jesus, My God these things I will never understand!!! That poor, innocent sweet baby girl! Why take her, Ashley and her grandparents? How scared they must have been😭🙏🏼 May they RIP. 🙏🏼 for the families. Randy was off but I never thought he could do something like this. Goes to show, you truly don’t know someone. HELL is too good of a place for him😤. I’m so sorry,” wrote January Quiroga.
Shayla Godejohn Owens graduated from high school with Ashley Delaney.
“Today has given me a terrible feeling I can’t shake. Nauseating, AWFUL, heart wrenching! Some choice words I’ll refrain from here. Situations like this take a huge toll on our hearts, community, and as human beings. Whether you speak regularly, or just in passing at Wal-Mart. No one deserves this! Pray for this family. And squeeze your babies a little tighter. 💔😭”
And her uncle Ron Delaney, who had just lost his parents as well as his niece and great-niece, could not hold back his grief and his anger when he wrote on Randy Horn’s Facebook page: “YOU F**KING DEAD SON OF A BITCH !!! ROTT IN HELL”
Lynda & Carlos Eugene ‘Gene’ Delaney
Lynda Kay Elliott married Carlos Eugene in 1966. Lynda went to MS Smiley High School. She and her husband, who went by the name Gene, owned the house and land on the rural road that included more than 100 acres of pasture and wooded forest.
The Delaney Ranch was a destination for some. It had its own Facebook page and images show the family hosting bonfires, and visitors exploring the ranch and barns and tending animals there.
Here’s a picture of some of the Delaney and extended family celebrating Lynda’s birthday on New Year’s Eve of 2016.
Lynda was a creative who crafted wreaths and sold them at local markets and to friends via Facebook. She was also a talented wood-carver who enjoyed carving for craft-making. Her small business was called Too Crafty Granny’s.
She and Gene were doting grandparents to Ashley and great-grandparents to Ranley Jo; their Facebook page is filled with pictures of Ashley and baby Ranley.
Lynda and Gene’s life appeared to be their ranch and their family. The Delaney Ranch Facebook page offers a glimpse.
And Lynda also made sure to share all new births, the latest additions to the ranch, she’d say.
Their Families Are Shocked & Devastated
The couple was being mourned hours before their names were released by authorities. It’s a close-knit community and the family that was murdered was quickly identified by neighbors, friends, and family. As was the name of the alleged killer.
Carol David is Lynda’s sister.
“I’m in total shock my family been murdered my sister her husband my great-niece and her 1-year-old daughter all shot and killed by the granddaughter’s husband then he killed himself…”
People are sending condolences to the family:
“I cannot believe (that) would happen to the family that I knew for years, sending prayers.”
“Is so devastated to awake this morning to hear the news a beautiful family was taken away. Rest In Peace Lynda-Gene Elliott Delaney, Gene Delaney, Ashley and her daughter. They were past clients, extended family, the kindest people I’ve ever known and died so tragically. My heart goes out to their children and family. 💔💔😢😢”
Importantly, according to Ron Delaney there has been no GoFundMe page set up by or for the family.
“I’ve been informed that someone has set up a GoFundMe page.
THERE IS NO PAGE SET UP BY OUR FAMILY!!!
TO THE SOB TRYING MAKE MONEY OFF OUR TRAGIC LOSS, GET READY FOR A KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT!!!!”