Coast Guard serviceman kills wife and seven-year-old son after a domestic dispute before turning gun on himself
44-year-old John Stanley Presnar, who had served in the coast guard, was found dead along with his wife and seven-year-old son at their home in an apparent double murder-suicide
A U.S. Coast Guard serviceman shot and killed his wife and son before turning the gun on himself. The 44-year-old John Stanley Presnar was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home near the 11400 block of Southwest 242nd Lane in southwest Miami-Dade near Homestead along with his 39-year-old wife Gretchen Presnar and his seven-year-old son.
According to the Miami Herald, Presnar, an electronics technician First Class who worked out of a Coast Guard base in Miami Beach, also shot his eight-year-old daughter. The girl was airlifted to the nearby Nicklaus Children's Hospital in critical condition. The two children's identities have not been made public.
Miami-Dade investigators say the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute that escalated out of control. The double murder-suicide reportedly took place at around 12:45 am on Sunday, December 16, with the wife telling her mother to run out of the house and call for help when Presnar began shooting.
A statement by the police read, "Once uniformed officers arrived, they entered the home and discovered the wife and their seven-year-old son deceased from apparent gunfire. The subject was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound."
"Their eight-year-old daughter was also shot, but found alive," the statement continued. "Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported the young girl to Nicklaus Children's Hospital in critical condition."
Speaking about the incident, a resident said, "It’s really sad … that bodies are being put in body bags." Esteban Aguila, another resident, similarly said she heard "pow pow pow pow pow" and that it was "very surprising to hear this bad news."
He was left in disbelief with the double murder-suicide. "They seemed like a really nice family," he revealed. "They were always outside with their kids; the kids would play outside. The dad was really nice. The mom, the grandma. They were all a very, very nice family."
Presnar had served in the Coast Guard since 2001, with spokesman Ryan Kelley expressing condolences in the tragic shootings. "The Coast Guard is deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family members of those who were killed," he said. "We continue to pray for and offer the full support of the Coast Guard to the young child fighting for her life."
Police have asked that anyone with information about the incident contact Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477, or by going to crimestoppersmiami.com.