Florida man kills son and daughter, sets house on fire before killing himself, mother devastated
The mother, who was outside of the house at the time of tragedy claimed to have received suicidal text messages from Vasquez (father) who allegedly shot their 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter
HERNANDO COUNTY, FLORIDA: A Florida man allegedly shot his two children and burned a bedroom at his residence before committing suicide, police say.
Officers responded to an address on the 9400 block of Dunkirk Road in Spring Hill after a 911 call from a woman who said she received suicidal texts from someone living inside the home, the Hernando County Sheriff's Department said in a press release on Saturday.
Once inside, deputies found the bodies of 41-year-old Derick Albert Vasquez and his children Kailani Vasquez, 10, and Kaedan Vasquez, 13. They also found one of the bedrooms to be on fire.
The 911 caller, who is believed to be the children's mother, was out of town when she received the texts from Vasquez. The woman immediately rushed back home and found at least one person dead before calling the police.
That said, all three family members were found inside the home by responding deputies who were assisted by the Hernando County Fire Rescue. Shortly after, the Medical Examiner's Office and the Fire Mashal's Office launched an investigation into the incident.
Police had previously responded to the residence on March 22 for verbal disturbance, according to records. Sheriff Al Nienhuis told reporters during a press conference Friday that there were "some domestic violence type overtones" in the apparent murder-suicide, but admitted the department was still in the preliminary stages of its investigation.
In a conversation with Tampa Bay Times, next-door neighbor Nancy MacAlpine recalled how she came home to find the woman screaming outside of her home. "He shot my kids," MacAlpine heard the woman yelling.
The two children attended JD Floyd Elementary and Powell Middle School, according to a tribute visual by the Hernando School district. That said, a GoFundMe page has been set up for the devastated mother, who is currently unemployed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities have been reiterating the same message to the public throughout the crisis — stay at home. But home is not the safest place for all. In fact, for many, it is a dangerous trap during the lockdown.
On March 23, President Donald J Trump sounded an alert saying if restrictions were not lifted from people’s daily life, worse social consequences could be witnessed like a rise in suicides. The Trump administration is mulling to put an end to social distancing measures taken to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has put the American demography under a serious threat.
Furthermore, the prospects of unemployment touching dangerous levels have left the authorities rattled. Trump has even said repeatedly now that the “cure should not be worse than the problem."
“You have a tremendous responsibility," the Republican leader told reporters during a briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic. "We have jobs. We have ... people get tremendous anxiety and depression, and you have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies."
"You have death probably in far greater numbers than the numbers we are talking about with regard to the virus," he added.
Meanwhile, experts fear that isolation amid to the ongoing crisis could also lead to a drastic increase in domestic violence cases.