Man kills wife, stepson in apparent murder-suicide, Venice police say

Sarasota County

VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) — Venice police are investigating three deaths after a family was found shot dead in an apparent double murder-suicide, according to a release.

“It is just indescribable,” said neighbor Jennifer Haviland. “It is really, it is so shocking,” she continued.

At 6:52 p.m. Monday, police conducted a welfare check at a home on Guadaloupe West Avenue after someone called and said his friend didn’t go to a planned event earlier in the day. Police said the caller went to check on his 81-year-old friend and was concerned when he saw the family vehicles parked at home, but no one was answering the door.

According to the release, officers went to the home, looked through a side window and found a man dead with a gunshot wound. Once they forced their way inside, they found three bodies: the 81-year-old man, his 78-year-old wife, and his 50-year-old stepson.

Venice police said that at this stage of the investigation, it appears the older man shot his wife and stepson before killing himself with the gun.

Neighbors who know the stepson are in disbelief by what happened. They tell 8 On Your Side the 50-year-old always went out of his way to help his neighbors and say hello.

“It’s very upsetting. We didn’t sleep well last night at all,” said neighbor Robert Haviland. “It’s gonna be hard not to see him every day. He would walk up and down the street several times a day,” he explained.

The investigation is still underway with help from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Currently, the victims will remain unidentified per Marsy’s law.

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