Florida police are investigating a horrific murder-suicide in which a 51-year-old man shot and killed his daughter and six grandchildren yesterday, reports CNN. The kids ranged in age from an infant to 11 years. The shootings took place in the rural town of Bell, about 35 miles west of Gainesville. The Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office identified the shooter as Don Spirit, who reportedly called 911 around 4pm indicating he wanted to hurt himself and others—"enough to alarm us to get there ... in a hurry," the sheriff says, as per the New York Times. Spirit killed himself shortly after conversing with a deputy who arrived on the scene. His seven victims were found inside.
Spirit's daughter and her children have been identified as: Sarah Lorraine Spirit, 28; Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11; Kylie Kuhlmann, 9; Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8; Destiny Stewart, 5; Brandon Stewart, 4; and Alanna Stewart, variously reported as being 2 months or 3 months old. In 2001, Don Spirit accidentally shot and killed his 8-year-old son, Kyle, during a hunting trip and was sentenced to three years in prison for a felony firearms violation, the Orlando Sentinel reports. In a 2003 interview with the paper, Spirit talked of his struggles to come to terms with the death and said, "The medication, I've tried it. It ain't working. The one medicine I have is my family." Police say they've been to his home several times previously for a "wide range of things," but authorities didn't speculate about a motive in the more recent tragedy. (Read more Florida stories.)