So tragic. A man shot and killed his five grandchildren, his daughter and another child before turning the gun on himself in a shocking apparent murder-suicide, according to the local sheriff.
A sheriff says a man allegedly killed his five grandchildren and another child — believed to be aged three months to about 10 years old — as well as his daughter and himself in the small town of Bell, Fla. on Sept. 18. Police have identified the man as Don Spirit, 51.
Grandfather Kills Daughter & Grandchildren: Apparent Murder-Suicide In Florida
Don reportedly called the police and said he was afraid that he was going to harm himself and others, USA Today reports.
But tragically, by the time deputies arrived at the home that Don shared with his family at about 4 p.m. ET on Sept. 18, they found his daughter, his five grandchildren and another child dead.
The deputies were able to make contact with Don, but he killed himself while they were there, said Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz.
Don was the only suspect in the apparent murder-suicide, and there were others still alive in the home, Sheriff Schultz tells Ksn.com.
Sherriff: ‘I Can’t Explain’ This Horror
Sheriff Schultz says the small town, which has only about 450 residents, will band together to get through this horror.
“We’re all family here,” Sheriff Schultz tells USA Today. “There are certain things in life you can explain; there are certain things you can’t. This is one of those things that I can’t explain.”
“We’ll get through this,” he adds. “I will continue to ask everybody to pray for the families.”
Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Samantha Andrews said that the agency was investigating the shootings, USA Today reports.
“At this point, FDLE is investigating at the request of the Gilchrist County sheriff,” she says. “It appears to be a murder-suicide. There is no danger to the community. It was at a private residence there at Bell.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ loved ones and the community of Bell.
— Tierney McAfee