School Principal Shot Dead by Husband in Murder-Suicide, Police Say

A Texas school principal has been shot dead by her husband in a murder-suicide, police say, prompting an outpouring of grief in their Houston area community.

Erica Allen, the 35-year-old principal of Heights Elementary School in Texas City, was killed on Wednesday close to her home in League City.

Her 40-year-old husband Nicholas Allen, who was an assistant principal at a school in another district nearby, then turned the gun on himself, League City Police Department said in a statement.

On Wednesday night, officers responded to a report of a home invasion and discovered Erica Allen's body in a neighbor's front yard, League City police said. Witnesses told officers they had seen Nicholas Allen shoot his wife then make his way into their house.

A tactical team entered the family home and found Nicholas Allen dead with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. The couple's two children, aged 7 and 2, were found unharmed and were safely carried out of the house by the tactical team.

"The investigation determined that the initial call of a home invasion was untruthful, and the incident stemmed from a domestic problem," said the League City police statement. "Investigators are still on the scene at this time."

Neighbors told Fox 26 that the family was planning to move out of their house—located between Erica and Nicholas Allen's school districts—this week.

Erica Allen had petitioned for a divorce and filed for a temporary restraining order against her husband in July 2020, according to court documents cited by the TV station KPRC 2.

In a statement shared with the station, the superintendent of Texas City Independent School District, Melissa Duarte, said Allen would be "deeply missed." She encouraged parents to inform their children of the tragedy and to be prepared to provide emotional support.

"It's important that we help support each other in the coming days," Duarte wrote. "Please keep Mrs. Allen's family and friends in your thoughts."

Duarte added that grief counselors would be on hand to support students and staff.

Newsweek has contacted the Texas City school district for further comment.

On social media, parents of children enrolled at Heights Elementary spoke of having their children wear red in memory of Erica Allen.

In a Facebook post, school counselor Malen Alaniz wrote that she was "thankful" for Allen's "friendship & love."

"Your absence is felt. Your laughter & smile are missed. I wish everyone could have known you in ways that we did," posted Alaniz. "I am so honored to have worked beside you. Remind people how special they are, hug every chance you get, & say 'I love you' more."

Nicholas Allen was seventh-grade assistant principal at a school run by Spring Independent School District.

In an email to Newsweek, the school district wrote: "Our entire Spring ISD community is devastated and shocked to hear about the passing of Nicholas Allen, who had served as an assistant principal at Wells Middle School since joining the district in July 2020. Our thoughts are with the couple's children and extended family as they face overwhelming grief and sorrow in the days ahead.

"We have counselors available to support any students or staff in need as they cope with this tragic loss."

Police Cars and Flashing Blue Siren Lights
Stock image of police cars. Police in League City, Texas, say Erica Allen, the 35-year-old principal of an elementary school, was shot dead by her husband. MattGush/iStock