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A suspect surrenders in 7 Indiana slayings

Attackers used assault rifles

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man suspected of gunning down seven family members in their home surrendered to police yesterday, an Indianapolis homicide detective said.

More than 100 police officers searched for Desmond Turner, with unsuccessful raids at two east side houses, since shortly after the slayings on Thursday.

Detective Kevin Duley said Turner, a 28-year-old ex-convict, turned himself in to police, but Duley did not know any more details.

Turner grew up near the site of the shooting s and had returned last fall after he was released from prison after a 3 1/2-year term for drug and weapons charges.

On Friday, police arrested another suspect in the shootings, a 30-year-old James Stewart, after a traffic stop. He was being held yesterday on a preliminary charge of murder, police said.

The deputy police chief, Tim Foley, has said both Stewart and Turner were believed to have fired shots at the victims.

Mourners laid flowers and handmade memorials along the fence of the modest home where the family was found slain.

The victims were identified as Emma Valdez, 46; her husband, Alberto Covarrubias, 56; their sons Alberto Covarrubias, 11, and David Covarrubias, 8 or 9; Valdez's daughter, Flora Albarran, 22; Albarran's 5-year-old son, Luis; and Albarran's brother Magno Albarran, 29.

Neighbors, friends, and others whose emotions were touched by the city's worst mass murder in 25 years left flowers, ribbons, candles, stuffed animals, and an angel statue along a sidewalk in front of the family's house.

A memorial service is scheduled to be held in front of the family's home this evening.

``God shall bring justice to them, celebrate the way they lived, not the way they left us," read one note left atop seven red roses at the family's house. ``A good family is gone, but not forgotten. Shall they all rest in peace."

Adults and children, many in tears, streamed through Thomas D. Gregg Elementary School , where David and Alberto had attended classes, to speak with grief counselors yesterday.

``The boys were very respectful of the school, good students and well-behaved," Principal Les Durbin was quoted as saying in The Indianapolis Star. ``They were very well-respected by their classmates and their parents were very involved in their educations."

A funeral for all but one of the victims is scheduled for Wednesday at the city's Roman Catholic cathedral, Saints Peter and Paul. Funeral plans were not immediately set for the elder Alberto Covarrubias.

Police said the attackers were armed with assault rifles during the raid. A witness reported seeing three or four men run out of the back of the house.

Foley said that investigators believed the shooters knew at least one of the victims and that nearly 30 shell casings from an assault rifle were found at the home.

``We have reason to believe that . . . especially Mr. Turner made statements prior to the robbery that these people were pretty much presumed dead before they ever went in the house," Foley said.

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