Crime News

Man Kills Daughter, Six Grandchildren In Florida Murder-Suicide

A man killed his daughter, and her six children, before killing himself in their home in a small town outside Gainesville, Florida, authorities said Thursday.

The shooter was identified as Donald C. Spirit, 51, the grandfather of the six children, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Authorities received the 911 call from the gunman himself at around 4 p.m. and found all eight people dead inside the home at the small town of Bell, said Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz III, NBCNews reported.

The victims, who were not identified by name, included children aged 3 months to 10 years old, Schultz said.

“This is a small county. We’re all family here. … There are certain things in life you can explain, and there are some things you can’t,” Schultz said. “We will continue to be family, and we will work through this.”

Deputies gave no motive for the shooting yet and said they would release more information about the case soon.

Spirit accidentally killed his 8-year-old son Kyle while hunting in Osceola County on November 14, 2001. He was cleaning the the rust in the muzzle of his rifle when it fired, shooting his son to the head.

He laid his son at the flatbed of his truck and drove into a campsite where he got help.

Spirit was convicted of a previous drug possession case at the time of the accident.

In a 2003 interview with the Sentinel, he said he was having a hard time coping with the loss of his son.

“The medication, I’ve tried it. It ain’t working,” Spirit said. “The one medicine I have is my family.”

Besides the 2001 incident, Spirit had an extensive criminal record, stretching back at least 22 years. According to records of the Florida corrections, convicted for depriving a child of food and shelter in 1995, battery in 1992, possession of drug paraphernalia in 1994, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2003, NBC News reported.

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