Police: 3 adults dead in Lakeland murder-suicide; 4 children safe

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Three adults are dead and four children were removed from a home after a murder-suicide in Lakeland on Christmas Eve, police said.

Police said Leighton Josephs, 30, armed himself with a gun and entered a home on Atlanta Avenue and shot two people inside before turning the gun on himself.

Police would only identify the victims as a 30-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man. 8 On Your Side spoke to relatives of the victims who say they are Racheal Ramsey and Christopher Pine. The Polk County Medical Examiners confirmed Ramsey and Pine, along with Leighton Josephs, will be autopsied Thursday.

Investigators suspect they both knew Josephs, but didn’t’ say how.

According to police, four children, all under the age of 10, were at the home when the shooting occurred. None of the children were injured and they were safely removed from the home. The children’s identities are being protected under Marsy’s law, police said.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Detective Laura Dunn at Laura.Dunn@lakelandgov.net or 863-834-6974.


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