A sheriff’s deputy in Florida killed three members of his family Wednesday morning, including his child, before turning the gun on himself, authorities said. WFLA8 reports that the unidentified deputy came on the office radio at 6:42 a.m. to announce that he had harmed a woman and child at one location and a different woman at another. He identified all three victims as members of his family. He then said that he planned to kill himself at Plant City High School. When authorities arrived at his location—a residence close to the school—they tried and failed to persuade him not to take his own life. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said that the deputy had retired two years ago, but had been recently rehired as a security guard at an elementary school. He added that there had been no sign of violent tendencies throughout the deputy’s employment, although he had complained to coworkers about financial and health troubles.
WFLA8 notes that this isn’t the first murder-suicide amongst Hillsborough County deputies: In September, Kirk Keithley murdered his wife while his four children were home before killing himself. During the press conference, Chronister reportedly urged members of the community to reach out if they are struggling with their mental health.
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).