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An arrest means only that a law enforcement officer attests there is probable cause to reasonably believe that a crime has been committed. An arrestee is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


Week of September 22, 2014 - September 28, 2014

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Young Man, 18, Arrested for
Illegal Sex Acts with Girl, 10,
Known to Him

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Jose Navarro, 18, of Bradenton.

Jose Navarro

The arrest report said Navarro was suspected of molestation of a 10-year-old girl known to him while the family lived in Rhode Island. But the family moved to New Jersey and a police report of the molestation was never made due to family pressure and because Navarro had family in the Dominican Republic who wanted him to come live with them.

However, on Friday, Sept. 12th, the mother made a report after the 10-year-old victim disclosed to her that she had been molested by Navarro again.

Law enforcement was notified and the child was taken to the Child Protection Team for a forensics interview.

The victim disclosed that Navarro had penetrated her vagina with his penis on more than one occasion and that Navarro would have her masturbate him, as well as have her perform oral sex on him.

Arrangements were made to have Navarro come in to be interviewed.

Post-Miranda, Navarro told detectives that he penetrated the victim's anus and vagina with his penis. He also said that he had the victim perform oral sex on him on at least one occasion and that he had the victim masturbate him until he reached climax on at least one occasion.

Navarro admitted he knew these incidents were illegal and that he could go to jail.

He was arrested and charged with Capital Sexual Battery of a Minor, Lewd & Lascivious Molestation of a Minor, and Lewd Conduct on a Minor.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $215,000.

Man Arrested for Possession
of Pot, Resisting Arrest after
Domestic Incident Call

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Justin Barnett, 29, of the 4500 block of 19th Street Circle West, Bradenton.

Justin Barnett

A sheriff's report said on Sunday, Sept. 21st, at about 7 p.m., patrol units were dispatched to a domestic in progress at the above location; unknown if weapons were involved.

As units were en route, dispatch updated that the female half of the domestic was locked in the bathroom of the apartment.

As units arrived on scene, an agitated male, later identified as Barnett, in the parking lot abruptly turned around and walked up the stairs and into the apartment of the domestic.

The male then comes out of the apartment and comes back down stairs.

Deputies asked the man to please stop but the man says “F _ _ _ Y _ _!” I don’t need to answer “S _ _ T!”

Deputies again ask the male to stop, but the male again walked away and yelled profanities at deputies.

The male then threw a blunt from behind his ear and again walked away from approaching deputies. The male proceeded to place his hand into his pocket and refused to show deputies his hand.

Deputies then tell the male that he is under arrest for obstruction but the male tensed up as if he was about to fight.

Units then deployed their Tasers, causing the male to fall to the ground, allowing deputies to handcuff and place the male under arrest.

The male, Justin Barnett, is the brother of one of the individuals involved in the domestic.

Justin also had some marijuana in his pocket besides the marijuana “Blunt” that he had thrown away during the confrontation.

Barnett was charged with Possession of Marijuana Under 20 Grams, Tampering with Physical Evidence and Resisting Arrest without Violence.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $2,500.

Two Arrested Following Pursuit,
MSO K-9 Apprehension of One

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested a juvenile female, identified in the arrest report only as "L.B." and Abdelrahman Kader Kayyal, 43, both of Bradenton.

Above, Abdelrahman Kader Kayyal and MSO K-9 Rocky

A sheriff's report said the victim, Autumn Pencosky, 21, had her truck stolen from her home Tuesday morning, Sept. 16th, in Bradenton.

On Friday, Sept. 19th, she located her truck, occupied by two suspects, driving near Lockwood Ridge road and S.R. 70.

Ms. Pencosky called 911 and several deputies responded to the area. The truck was located leaving the Barrington Ridge Subdivision.

A deputy gave chase and began pursuing the Toyota north onto 45th Street east from State Road 70. The pursuit went 14 blocks until they pulled into a yard at 4004 45th Street East. Both occupants fled on foot.

The juvenile female was located shortly after when she attempted to flag down an undercover deputy that was searching for the suspects. When she asked the undercover deputy for a ride, he gladly did so and arrested her.

The male suspect was located in a wooded area by K-9 Deputy Tom Franklin and his K-9 Rocky.
The suspect tried to fight the K-9 Deputy and his dog, but was subdued.

The victim's truck was released back to her.

Both suspects were taken to their respective detention facilities.

Kayyal was charged with Grand Theft Auto, Battery on a Law Enforcement Animal, Fleeing to Elude Police at High Speed, and Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $10,620.

Man Arrested for 4th Violation
of Noise Ordinance, 911 Abuse,
Attempting to Avoid Arrest

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Peter Hunsader, 48, of 24015 53rd Avenue East, Myakka.

Peter Hunsader

A sheriff's report said on Sunday, Sept. 21st, at about 3:30 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the above location regarding a noise complaint.

Upon arrival, deputies confirmed that music was being played at/from the location and was excessively loud. The suspect refused to cooperate and turn the music down.

The suspect, in the presence of responding deputies, called “911” to report that the deputies were on his property and wanted them removed.

It was determined that the suspect was previously issued three (3) notices for violation of the county noise ordinance, making this the fourth (4th) documented violation.

Deputies obtained sworn affidavits from the complainant and completed a summons for this incident.

An MCSO Supervisor arrived on scene and attempted to explain/serve the suspect the summons.

The suspect then fled toward his house and deputies followed in marked patrol cars.

Upon reaching the house, deputies gave verbal commands to the suspect to stop and show his hands. The suspect refused to comply and began to run towards the house in an effort to escape custody.

A Taser was deployed, striking the suspect in the upper and middle torso with the probes. The suspect was immediately subdued and taken into custody without further incident.

The suspect was later transported to MCSO Jail without incident.

Hunsader was charged with Refusal to Accept/Sign Code Enforcement Citation, Abuse of 911 System, Violation of Noise Ordinance (4th instance), and Resisting Arrest without Violence.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail without a bail bond at this time.

FHP to Conduct DUI Wolfpack
Detail This Coming Friday

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/FHP] -- The Florida Highway Patrol, North District, will conduct a DUI Wolfpack Detail on Friday, September 26th, at 9:00 p.m.

FHP sets up such details to proactively remove impaired drivers from the roadways and ultimately enhance the safety of the motoring public.

Troopers conducting the detail will be mobile, monitoring traffic, in an effort to maximize their visibility and effectiveness in removing impaired drivers from the roadways in Sarasota, Manatee, Highlands, Hardee and Desoto County.

Driving impaired from alcohol or drugs put everyone on the roadways in danger. Florida law considers a driver with .08 or higher Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to be impaired. Drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are also in violation of Florida law.

The Florida Highway Patrol would like to remind everyone that *FHP (*347) dialed from any cell phone contacts FHP should you need to report an aggressive driver or require roadside assistance.

Two Men Arrested after Traffic
Stop; Drugs, Money Found

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- On Sunday, September 21, 2014, at approximately 4 a.m., Sarasota police officers initiated a traffic stop in the 2800 block Central Avenue in Sarasota after observing two suspects run a stop sign at 22nd Street and Leon Avenue in Sarasota.

Above, L to R, Tyderian Jenkins and Thomas McDuffie

The vehicle proceeded northbound on Central Avenue, drove through a dead end and crashed into a tree; the two suspects inside the vehicle fled on foot.

Officers apprehended Tyderian Jenkins (driver) and Thomas McDuffie (passenger).

A strong smell of marijuana was coming from the vehicle and after a search of the vehicle, powder cocaine (2.4 grams), crack cocaine (21.1 grams), heroin (3 grams) along with MDMA and U.S. currency ($1715) were located in the interior of the vehicle.

Suspect 1: Thomas McDuffie, 29, 2011 Mercy Drive, Orlando, was charged with Driving with a License Suspended Habitual Traffic Offender (felony), Possession of Crack of Cocaine with Intent to Sell (felony), Possession of Powder Cocaine with Intent to Sell (felony), Possession of Heroin with Intent to Sell (felony), Leaving the Scene of a Crash (misdemeanor), and Obstruction without Violence (misdemeanor).

Suspect 2: Tyderian Jenkins, 21, 4325 Kingsfield Drive, Parrish, was charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell (felony), and Obstruction without Violence.

Sarasota Police Plan Prescription
Drug Takeback Day Saturday

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- On Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Sarasota Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your pills for disposal to the front lobby of the Sarasota Police Department at 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps; only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

After previous Take Back Days spread over almost four years, 780,158 pounds (390 tons) of pills were brought to the 6,072 collection sites that DEA and its 4,423 state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners set up in April so the public could discard unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, bedside tables, and kitchen drawers. When added to that collected at previous DEA-coordinated Take-Back events, 4.1 million pounds (2,123 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Other Law Enforcement Drop Off Locations in Sarasota County:

• 2071 Ringling Boulevard (Sarasota); Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
• 2099 Adams Lane; Sarasota Police Department
• 501 College Drive; New College Police Department
• 1350 Ridgewood Avenue; Venice Police Department
• 4531 State Road 776 (Venice); Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
• 4980 City Hall Boulevard; North Port Police Department

***All locations with the exception of New College Police Department have permanent drop boxes.

Family: Man Shot by Deputy
Was Deaf from Childhood

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Family members say a man fatally shot by a Volusia County sheriff's deputy was deaf from a childhood illness, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Sheriff Ben Johnson said after the shooting that 52-year-old Edward P. Miller was "brandishing a firearm" outside a towing service on Saturday afternoon in Daytona Beach.

The shooting remains under investigation by the sheriff's office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports the Millers were trying to pick up a car from the towing service when an argument broke out. Deputy Joel Hernandez and another deputy were at the business on another matter when they heard a heated argument going on outside.

Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson says Hernandez noticed Miller was armed, perceived a threat and fired. Both deputies are on leave pending the investigation, WKMG said.


~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Woman Accused of Causing
Great Bodily Harm to Her

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Jody L. Hutchinson, 47, of 3701 16th Street West, Bradenton.

Jody Hutchinson

The arrest report said the unnamed victim in this case and Hutchinson are boyfriend and girlfriend and they live together.

On Sunday, Sept. 14th, at about 4 a.m., they got into a verbal argument that turned physical when Hutchinson began throwing objects at the victim.

Hutchinson threw a glass bottle of vinegar pickled vegetables at the victim which broke on his right elbow, causing a deep laceration to his elbow.

Hutchinson then fled the residence on foot in an unknown direction.

A deputy observed that the victim was bleeding a large amount from his right elbow. There was a large amount of blood on the couch. There was broken glass and pickled vegetables on the floor and the strong odor of vinegar.

The victim was very intoxicated and refused to have any photos taken and also refused to give a description of Hutchinson, or direction of travel.

Hutchinson was arrested three days later, on Wednesday, Sept. 17th, at the above residence.

She was charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm.

She later posted a $1,000 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

BPD: Man Tried to Steal
Two Laptops from Walmart

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Conrad Dean, 45, of 2915 60th Street East, Palmetto.

Conrad Dean

The arrest report said on January 2nd of this year, at about 7 a.m., Dean entered the Walmart store located at 5315 Cortez Road West, Bradenton.

He went directly to the customer service desk and returned an item he entered the store with. He did not have a receipt for the item, so he had to provide his Florida Driver License to return the item.

Dean then went to the electronics department and pried open the locked laptop case. He selected two laptops from the laptop case, then went to the sporting goods department and hardware department and opened the laptop boxes.

He then left the laptops in a bag in the sporting good section and exited the store without the laptops.

About 25 minutes later, Dean re-entered the store and went directly to the location where he had placed the laptops. he selected the bag with the laptops and exited the store through the garden section, passing all points of sale without paying for the two laptops and the shoulder bag.

Dean was not apprehended when he left the store.

However, on Wednesday, September 17th, he was arrested when he once again entered the same store. An alert loss prevention officer recognized Dean as the man who stole the laptops in January.

He was charged with Grand Theft Shoplifting.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $1,500.

Man Arrested for Attempted
Robbery of Cell Phone
after Parking Dispute

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Edward J. McGee, 29, of Bradenton.

Edward McGee

A sheriff's report said on Thursday, Sept. 18th, at about 11 p.m., the victim, Tracey Disintio, 41, and McGee became involved in a verbal argument in the parking lot of the RaceTrac at 5410 14th Street West, Bradenton, over a parking issue.

During the argument, Tracey took a picture of McGee's license plate with her cell phone.

This enraged McGee, who grabbed the victim's cell phone and attempted to pry it out of her hand.

Tracey was able to retain her cell phone, at which time she called MCSO.

McGee then fled in his vehicle.

The victim was not injured during the incident.

The area was checked but the suspect could not be located at that time.

However, further investigation revealed McGee lived at 4515 26th Street West.

Deputies located and arrested him at about 3:15 a.m. on the 19th.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail at this time, charged with Attempted Robbery.

Woman Agrees to "Do" Two
Undercover Detectives

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Shelby L. Phillips, 24, of the 7600 block of South Leewind Drive, Sarasota.

Shelby Phillips

The arrest report said on Wednesday, Sept. 17th, two undercover detectives attached to the Special Investigations Division Tactical Unit were patrolling the streets of Manatee County, posing as "Johns" in an attempt to arrest prostitutes.

At about 10 p.m., they came across Phillips in the 8700 block of U.S. 41.

They made contact and, after a brief conversation, Phillips agreed to give both detectives oral sex for $25 each and allow one of the U/C detectives to perform sexual intercourse on her for $35.

She was arrested without incident and charged with misdemeanor Prostitution.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $1,000.

I-75 Armed Robbery Victim
Falls for Ruse by Two
Feigning Illness

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed robbery that occurred on Sunday, Sept. 21st, at about 6 a.m. on I-75 southbound near mile marker 224 (U.S. 301).

A sheriff's report said the victim, Adam Pulse, 20, of Palmetto, was traveling southbound on I-75 @ MM 224 when he saw an unknown female standing in the middle of the interstate trying to wave him down.

Adam stopped to assist with what appeared to be a medical issue.

During the encounter, Adam was robbed of property at gunpoint by an unknown male who was also on scene.

The suspect vehicle was described as a 90s black GMC Yukon with no unique characteristics last seen southbound from the scene on I-75.

The incident was delayed being reported to law enforcement.

The vehicle or suspects were not located.

There were no injuries related to the incident.

The investigation is ongoing.

The two ambushers were described as:

1. An unknown Black male, 6'0" tall, 200 pounds, with no facial hair, short hair, and was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and black shorts.

2. An unknown Black female, 5'4" tall, 120 pounds, last seen wearing a black T-shirt and blue jean shorts with straight shoulder length hair.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, click here, or text MCSTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

Callers to the CrimeStoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer or by text message will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Man Shoots His Wife in Head;
Incident Deemed Accidental

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a shooting that occurred on Sunday, Sept. 21st, at about 8:45 a.m., at a residence in the 3800 block of 100th Street West (Coconut Terrace), Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said deputies responded to Blake Medical Center's Emergency Room for a reported shooting with injuries.

Upon arrival, deputies interviewed John Turbeville, 59, and Patricia Turbeville, 58, separately.

Both Patricia and John said they were preparing to play golf.

John removed a small North American, 5 shot revolver (22 mag) from his pocket and dropped it.

When the revolver hit the floor, it discharged.

The round struck Patricia, grazing the side of her head.

John drove Patricia to Blake ER for treatment.

Patricia was alert and talking and was most likely going to be released from the ER after receiving treatment for the wound.

At this time, this incident appears to be accidental, Sgt. Keith Noordzy wrote in the report.

MSO: Girl, 11, Bitten
by Bull Terrier

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a dog bite incident that occurred on Saturday, Sept. 20th, at about 3:15 p.m., outside a residence in the 2700 block of 6th Street West, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said a female, who is 11 years old, was playing with other children in the neighborhood in front of a 1-year-old Bull Terrier mix named Bentley.

Bentley was tied up and has had interaction with the child in the past with no issues.

While playing, the child ran up to Bentley and Bentley bit her on the legs.

Bentley’s owner came out during the incident and separated the dog from her and held him until animal control responded and took control of the dog.

Housekeeper Arrested for
Dealing in Stolen Property;
More Victims Sought by SSO

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Sarasota housekeeper for stealing jewelry from an elderly client's home and pawning the items for cash.

Virginia Clawson

On September 13th, the 73-year-old victim contacted the sheriff's office to report that cash and jewelry had gone missing from her home.

Detectives located a piece of the victim's jewelry at a local pawn shop and were able to identify fingerprints on a signed pawn slip matching those of the victim's housekeeper, Virginia Clawson, 48, of 4220 Center Gate Blvd, Sarasota.

Through investigation, detectives learned that Clawson provides housekeeping services for numerous elderly clients in the area and has pawned nearly 60 pieces of men and women's jewelry over the past several months.

The investigation is ongoing and detectives ask anyone who suspects they may be a victim of a related crime, to contact North County Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4900.

Clawson is currently being held at the Sarasota County Jail on $9,000 bond.

She faces charges of Dealing in Stolen Property and providing False Ownership Information on Pawn Forms.

Traffic Stop Leads to
Multiple Drug Charges

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a Sarasota man following a traffic stop that led to the discovery of over 70 grams of marijuana and nearly 200 prescription pills.

Phillip Buckles

On Wednesday night around 8:30 p.m., deputies stopped a white GMC pickup truck driving recklessly near the intersection of Glengary Street and Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. When the vehicle slowed down, the driver quickly exited and fled toward a nearby building causing deputies to deploy their Taser. Once the driver was taken into custody, deputies searched the vehicle to find a Ziploc bag of marijuana, multiple prescription pills and a notebook detailing the weight and description of the drugs.

Phillip Buckles, 52, 417 Beach Road #19, is charged with Possession of Cannabis, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, three counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, three counts of Possession without a Prescription, Trafficking and Intent to Sell. Additional charges include Driving Under the Influence, Refusal to Submit to a DUI Test, Resisting Arrest and Driving While License Permanently Revoked.

This is Buckles' eighth DUI and records show that his license has already been revoked three times in the state of Florida. He is currently being held at the Sarasota County Jail without bond.

SPD Prostitution Operation
Nets Three "Johns"

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the Sarasota Police Department Street Crimes Unit, in conjunction with the Narcotics Unit, conducted a prostitution operation targeting individuals soliciting prostitutes; “Johns.”

Above, L to R, Alvaro Diaz-Hernandez, Michael Capo, and John H. Stevens

The operation was conducted in the 4200 block of N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

Three individuals were arrested for Solicitation for Prostitution.

They are:

Alvaro Diaz-Hernandez, 25, Sarasota
Michael Capo, 46, Sarasota
John H. Stevens, 35, Parrish

CCSO Makes Two Arrests
in Homicide Case

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two men on charges of Second Degree Murder in the death of Kello Bonhomme who was found along a Port Charlotte roadside last Tuesday.

Above, L to R, Dwayne Johnson and Freddie Campbell

On Thursday September 18th, detectives arrested Dwayne Jarrel Johnson, 31, of 21962 Hernando Avenue in Port Charlotte, and Freddie Earl Campbell, 27, of 1538 Purdy Lane in North Port, on charges of Second Degree Murder.

On Tuesday September 9th, the body of Kello Bonhomme, 40, of Port Charlotte, was found by passers-by laying on the road on Salisbury Street near Kenilworth Blvd. He has been shot.

Shortly after the victim was identified, detectives requested the public’s assistance in locating two vehicles, a Kia Sorento and a black Ford Explorer, that the victim was known to have previously driven. Actual photographs of both vehicles taken by the Sheriff’s Office’s VeriPlate system were published and both vehicles were located later that same day.

Johnson and Campbell were developed as persons of interest in this case. Detectives continued their investigation, conducting interviews and processing items for evidence. By Thursday, they had developed enough information to get an arrest warrant for Campbell. Johnson was already in the Charlotte County Jail on a previous charge of Armed Robbery and was also booked on the murder charge.

Sheriff Prummell said he was very confident in the work of his detectives in building a very strong case. Although he could not elaborate due to the continuing investigation, he said that both Johnson and Campbell, as well as the victim, were known to members of the Narcotics Unit as having been involved in the drug trade in the county.

Sheriff Bill Prummell held a press conference last Friday to announce the arrests. He praised the members of the Major Crimes Unit, who, together with members of the Narcotics Unit, Intelligence Unit and Forensics Unit and the State Attorney’s Office, worked virtually around the clock for the first 48 hours to follow leads and collect evidence in this case.

The investigation is continuing.

Small Florida Town Copes
with Mass Slaying

BELL, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- The small town of Bell, Florida, is trying to come to grips with a horrific mass slaying that left six children and two adults dead, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office believes 51-year-old Don Charles Spirit shot and killed his daughter and her six children before killing himself Thursday afternoon.

The shooting happened at a home in Bell, which is located in Gilchrist County in north-central Florida, about 140 miles from Orlando.

Inside the home, deputies said they found the bodies of Spirit, his 28-year-old daughter, Sarah Lorraine Spirit, and his six grandchildren. The grandchildren were identified as 2-month-old Alanna Stewart, 4-year-old Brandon Stewart, 5-year-old Destiny Stewart, 8-year-old Johnathon Kuhlmann, 9-year-old Kylie Kuhlmann and 11-year-old Kaleb Kuhlmann.

Four of the children attended Bell Elementary School.

A memorial was held on Friday night at the Bell High School football game, which included a moment of silence.

Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz held a news conference Friday, asking for prayers for the community, especially for the families of the victims and children who live in the town.

“Everyone knows everyone,” said Schultz, adding that 16,000 people live in the entire county. “We refuse to let this define us. Our focus is on the children.”

Schultz said he could not divulge information about the father or fathers of the children.

School Superintendent Robert Rankin also spoke at the news conference, saying grief counselors were at Bell Elementary School, which houses about 540 students, on Friday to help students cope with the tragedy.

“Everybody grieves different,” Rankin said. “We’re trying to meet their needs.”

Rankin described the slain children as "happy-go-lucky kids," and said there was no known evidence that any of them was dealing with potential issues at home.

“As you can imagine, this has been a tough day for the school district," Rankin said. “We pray that God will be with us in the days ahead."

Rankin said a teacher told him that she put the children on a school bus at 3 p.m. The shootings occurred about an hour later.

"He was walking up and down the road at least a couple of times, which was kind of strange," Neighbor Tate Bryant told WKMG.

Bryant says he saw Spirit pacing their dirt road at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, then Spirit walked with the four children from the bus stop past his house and shortly after, deputies were barreling down the road.

The Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office said late Thursday that it received a 911 call around 4 p.m. from the Spirit, who said that he had harmed others and was going to harm himself.

Schultz said deputies have been called to the home before on multiple occasions and that Spirit had a criminal history.

"He was not a legal gun owner," Schultz said.

Gov. Rick Scott visited Bell on Friday.

"We all have families," Scott said. "We can't imagine this happening to our family and friends."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the mass shooting.

In 2001, Spirit accidentally shot and killed his 8-year-old son, Kyle, during a hunting trip to Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area near Kenansville in Osceola County, according to officials. During a walk through the woods, Spirit pointed out some rust on the muzzle of a gun and it fired, hitting Kyle in the head, officials said.

Spirit was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty in exchange for a minimum sentence just as his trial was about to begin.

After the incident, the family moved from Tampa to Bell, WKMG said.


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