POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The three people who were killed in a triple homicide in Polk County over the weekend were identified Monday by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Over the weekend, deputies arrested electrical worker 39-year-old Shaun Runyon of Pennsylvania after they say he allegedly beat and stabbed three of his coworkers to death in the home they were sharing while doing work for a Lakeland Publix property.
Judd named the victims as 41-year-old supervisor Kevin Lanusse from Pennsylvania, 46-year-old Dewlon “Dew” Donell of Maryland, and 41-year-old Gregory Dolezal of Ohio. All of the men worked for J & B Electric in Pennsylvania, which is owned by the suspect’s half-brother.
“They were wonderful family people, just solid, solid folks,” Judd said.
According to the sheriff, the murders happened after Lanusse and Runyon got into a fight when Lanusse told him he wasn’t working fast enough.
Judd said Runyon went to Cordele, Georgia, and purchased a crossbow to bring it back to Florida and use it kill the victims. However, the weapon was not used in the murders, according to the sheriff.
As 8 On Your Side previously reported, Runyon then drove to Tampa International Airport to drop off his work truck and rent a new car, a blue Nissan Versa. Judd said he later purchased a baseball bat from a nearby Target before sleeping in a Walmart parking lot in the Clermont area Friday night.
The following morning, Runyon allegedly made his way back to the workers’ home and began the killing spree, according to the sheriff.
“He (knew) they’re going to be in bed asleep because they’ve been working overnight,” Judd said. “He (knew) their pattern.”
Authorities say Lanusse and Donell were asleep when they were brutally beaten with the baseball bat and were hit so hard they were never conscious during the ordeal.
Dolezal fought back but was fatally stabbed, the sheriff said.
“They fought upstairs, and then Greg was able to come downstairs onto the front porch where he collapsed and died,” Judd said.
Runyon is said to have also attacked another coworker with the baseball bat, but the man, identified in a police document as Witness 1, managed to escape from his assailant. That victim also had his wife and 7-year-old daughter in his home, but they escaped unharmed.
Judd said after the attacks, Runyon left the home and met with a Publix employee who previously wanted Runyon to do tile work at his home in Lake Wales.
Upon seeing Runyon covered in blood, the employee asked what happened, and the suspect told the employee he was in a fight and was raped, according to Judd. The employee told Runyon to go to the hospital and called authorities after Runyon left for Lake Wales Medical Center, where he was taken into custody.
After being detained, Runyon confessed and told deputies he was gang-raped by his coworkers, but a sexual battery test did not find evidence of such an assault.
“There is absolutely, unequivocally zero evidence to confirm what our just outrageous, violent, beast of a human being did,” Judd said.
The sheriff said two of the victims, Lanusse and Donell, had children back home. Donell alone had a 4-year-old daughter.
“Dew will never have a chance to walk his daughter down the aisle when she gets married or see his grandchildren,” Judd said. “The little 4-year-old girl will have to grow up without a dad.”
At the time of the murders, Runyon was out on bond after being arrested in Pennsylvania on May 21 on charges of strangulation, endangering welfare of a child, terroristic threats, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, assault, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, and harassment.
“I understand people have a right to bail, but it does occur to me if he’d still been locked up for his May arrest in Pennsylvania, we would have these fathers, these good men, alive and working and with their family today,” Judd said.
Runyon faces three charges for first-degree murder and one for aggravated battery. Judd said the investigation is still active, and information is likely to change as deputies continue to look into what happened.