roller world
© Reuters/Mike Stone

Police officers stand outside of the Roller World Forum were five people were murdered in Grand Prairie, Texas July 23, 2011.
Austin - A gunman opened fire at a family birthday party at a North Texas roller rink late on Saturday, killing five people and wounding four others before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Police were called to Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie, about 20 miles west of Dallas, at 7:10 p.m. following reports of a shooting, Grand Prairie Police Department spokesman John Brimmer said.

The incident began when an unidentified man drew a gun during an argument at a birthday party at the rink. He opened fire, shooting five people dead and wounding four others, and then shot himself, Brimmer said.

"This was a domestic situation that went south in a hurry." Brimmer told Reuters. "The shooting lasted only seconds."

Five police officers were on the scene within a minute, Brimmer said. The wounded were taken to a local hospital for treatment, although their condition was not immediately known.

A private family group had rented the entire skate rink for the evening to celebrate a child's birthday, Brimmer said. All the dead and wounded were teenagers and adults attending the gathering.

The police department has made crisis counselors available to treat victims and others who witnessed the shooting.

"There are going to be a lot of hurting families," Brimmer said.

"Thankfully we don't have things like this happen with any kind of regularity. We are a community of give or take 160,000 people and it's a great city and for something like this to happen is just horrible."