ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – When St. Petersburg Police Officers say 44-year old Kevin Bybee shot and killed his 9-year old son Andres Chateau, before turning the gun on himself, it was the eighth murder-suicide involving Tampa Bay area residents in 2022.
In the most recent case, we learned that Bybee was in the process of being evicted from his apartment, and his relationship with his son’s mother was not the best. Yolanda Fernandez is with the St. Petersburg Police Department.
“They had been in a contentious custody dispute,” said Fernandez. “But there had been no threats or signs beforehand that it would get to this point.”
The one question everyone seems to ask about these murder-suicides is, why?
On Jan. 11 in Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said deputies were dispatched at around 7 p.m. Monday to a house on Cherry Lake Drive to look for a woman whose friends told deputies they hadn’t heard from her in 24 hours.
While conducting the welfare check, deputies tried to speak with suspect Charles Siminski, 52, but he refused to cooperate. They later found the victim dead and Siminski dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
On Jan. 12 in Land O’ Lakes, deputies found a mother and her two children dead. Authorities were alerted to the incident after the father, whose name has not been released, came home and found his 9-month-old, 3-year-old, and wife dead, according to Seargent Michael Rosa with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit.
In Mulberry on Jan. 17th, an attempted murder-suicide. The gunman initially survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but later died as a result of the injury.
Then on Jan. 31, a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Detective was accused of shooting and killing a female deputy, while on vacation near St. Augustine. Investigators say he then shot himself.
There were two back-to-back murder-suicides in Trinity in Pasco County in February, followed by one in Dunedin on Feb. 9.
Manny Guevara-Ruiz is with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. He says there is no one thing that triggers a tragedy like the ones we’ve seen in 2022.
“Most of the times, things like this make us want to find an answer, an immediate answer,” said Guevara-Ruiz. “And in all honesty, there’s not one particular answer. There’s not one symptom.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.