Florida police said a shooting that killed three people, including a 13-year-old girl, began a legal dispute over a dog.
Port St. Lucie Police say the suspect and victims were neighbors who had had a dispute over a dog deemed dangerous in court earlier.
After everyone came home from court, the suspect was armed and entered the victims’ home, said Saint Lucy County Sheriff Ken Massera.
“If I heard this call coming on the radio, it would make your neck hair stand up. A little girl calls and says, ‘There is someone shooting in our house. I think my parents are dead. I think my family is dead. Mascara said.
When the police responded, they found an adult man dead and a 13-year-old girl critically injured. She died later in the hospital. Two others managed to flee the house but were taken to hospital. The extent of their injuries is unclear.
Officers encountered the suspect inside the victims’ home. They exchanged fire with the suspect. An officer was injured and the suspect was killed. It is unclear whether the suspect killed himself or was killed by the police.
The officer who was shot is expected to survive.
A neighbor said he heard the gunfire but thought it was fireworks because he didn’t expect something like this to happen in their neighborhood.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in the past 20 years. It’s a wonderful neighborhood. Something crazy like this happens when someone is affected by a dog, no one has heard of it,” said Charles Dagatta.
Port St. Lucy’s assistant chief of police, Richard Del Toro, agreed that the shooting was uncharacteristic in the neighborhood.
“It’s just shocking and it’s just tragic. It’s not unique to this neighborhood or city,” said Del Toro, “but we’ll do our best to discover all the reasons behind it.”
Port St. Lucie Police are now leading the investigation into the murder.
Port St. Lucie is on Florida’s Atlantic coast, 125 kilometers southeast of Orlando.