Three dead in dou­ble mur­der-sui­cide; 4 chil­dren found safe

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE -

LAKE­LAND — Three adults were killed in a dou­ble mur­der­sui­cide at a Lake­land home Christ­mas Eve, but four chil­dren in­side the home at the time of the shoot­ing were found un­harmed, ac­cord­ing Lake­land po­lice spokes­woman Robin Til­lett.

Leighton Josephs, 30, is ac­cused of en­ter­ing the home on At­lanta Av­enue Tues­day evening armed with a hand­gun, and open­ing fire on the man and woman in­side the home, killing them,

Til­let said. In­ves­ti­ga­tors say Josephs then shot him­self.

Til­lett said that in­ves­ti­ga­tors have rea­son to be­lieve that Josephs knew both the man and woman whom he shot. The man who died was 27, the woman was 30.

The four chil­dren who were found in the home were all un­der the age of 10. Til­let said they are not re­leas­ing the names of the man, woman or four chil­dren.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the chil­dren and adults, or with Josephs.

Lake­land po­lice were ini­tially called to the At­lanta Av­enue about 5:30 p.m. Tues­day af­ter some­one re­ported hear­ing gunshots, Til­let said.

Lake­land Po­lice Capt. Ed Cain called the in­ci­dent a “hor­rific tragedy that will im­pact lives for years to come” in a late night press con­fer­ence Tues­day, recorded by WSTP-Chan­nel 10. They said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­mains on­go­ing.

Til­let said they are work­ing on a way to al­low com­mu­nity mem­bers to do­nate or sup­port the chil­dren, and will re­lease that in­for­ma­tion when it’s avail­able.

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