On Thursday afternoon, the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a shooting at a home in Bell, Florida. When the responding officer arrived at the residence, he came upon a heart-wrenching murder scene.
The Associated Press reports:
A man killed six of his grandchildren, his adult daughter and himself in a shooting at a home in a small town in North Florida Thursday, a sheriff said.
Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz at a news conference identified the man as 51-year-old Don Spirit. He said the children ranged in age from 3 months to 10 years old.
Schultz said a deputy who arrived on a report of a shooting Thursday afternoon made contact with Spirit who then committed suicide. Authorities then found the other seven bodies.
All of the children who were killed were the oldest victim’s children.Image Credit: NyDailyNews
In addition, according to the Orlando Sentinel, in 2003 Spirit spent three years in prison after a felony arms violation in which he shot and killed his son in a hunting accident. But that’s not all: Spirit’s criminal history dates back to 1992, when it was found that he had deprived a child of food and shelter.
When Sheriff Schultz was asked if officers had been dispatched to Spirit’s home before, he told reporters that they have, for “various reasons.”
Furthermore, Schultz made it clear that to his knowledge that Gilchrist County had “never experienced anything like this”. He also told media that they didn’t know of any motive yet.
While such devastating tragedies are hard to comprehend, this Facebook user made an important point that America should table its political beliefs and focus on the victims:
As this story continues to develop, it’s important to remember that we should try to remember the victims, not the heinous murderer who committed these unspeakable acts.