The 16-year-old son of former Miami Dolphins linebacker Antonio Armstrong was charged as a juvenile in the shooting deaths of his parents on Friday.
Police say A.J. Armstrong shot his father, Antonio Armstrong, 42, and his mother, Dawn Armstrong, around 2 a.m. EST inside their Houston home.
Dawn was pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband passed away 2 hours later at a local hospital, according to NBC affiliate KPRC.
Police recovered the murder weapon inside the home.
The couple's two other children, Josh Armstrong, 20, and a younger daughter, Kayra, were inside the home at the time of the shootings. They were unharmed, police say.
"Her and Antonio together, they were what they call a power couple – a power team," said Dawn's cousin, Vaun Lee. "When they unified, they began to make things happen 20-odd years ago. They are the family that everyone wanted to be like, Lee said.
Dawn's cousin, Clifton Downing said he was informed about the death of "Dawn Renee" via a phone call from his mother.
"We get together every year at Christmas time," he said. "They're just great people. They're the rocks of our family."
"This was an outstanding family," Houston police homicide investigator Jimmy Dodson told KPRC. "He was an associate pastor in the area church. He's a great guy. The mother was apparently a great mother, according to family members."
Armstrong was a former Texas A&M All-American. He was drafted in the 6th round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
In a statement, the Miami Dolphins said they were "saddened by the tragic" deaths, and "our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.".