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Sheriff: Church Musician Killed His Family, Then Called Cops

'It just doesn't make sense'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2021 10:40 AM CST
Sheriff: Church Musician Killed His Family, Then Called Cops
William Conway Broyles.   (Nassau County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A Florida man is in custody after allegedly shooting and killing his wife, son, and daughter early Wednesday morning. "It just—it's crazy. It just doesn't make sense," Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper told WJXT. He said the suspected shooter, 57-year-old William Conway Broyles, called 911 to report the shooting at his home in Callahan, 20 miles northwest of Jacksonville, around 7:15am and was lying unarmed in the driveway when deputies arrived. "Later on he told us that he shot each victim multiple times, just to make sure they didn't suffer," the sheriff said.

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Broyles' wife, 57-year-old Candace L. Broyles, was shot in the living room of the home, while his adult children, 27-year-old Cora Lynn Broyles and 28-year-old Aaron Christopher Broyles, were shot in bedrooms, Leeper said. He said Broyles appeared to have shot his daughter while she was waking up. He also "busted through the door" of his son's bedroom before shooting him with a handgun, "then went back to get another gun, came back, and shot his son again," Leeper said, per WJAX and the Florida Times-Union. One handgun was found on the bed in the master bedroom, the other on the master bathroom counter, according to an arrest report.

"It doesn't make sense when you look at the whole circumstance of what we believe happened," Leeper said. "When [Broyles] was asked why he [didn't just] shoot himself, he said he was too scared to do that, which is crazy." He added there was no history of domestic issues within the family, which includes a second son. Broyles is director of music ministries at Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, where he's served as musician for 23 years, according to the church's website. It describes him as "happily married for 30 years." The suspect is now being held in Nassau County Jail on three counts of second-degree murder. (Read more murder stories.)

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