PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CNN Newsource) – Florida police say a shooting that left three people dead, including a teenage girl, started with a court dispute over a dog.
“If you heard this call come over the radio, it would make the hair on your neck stand up ,” St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascera said. “A little girl calls in saying ‘there’s someone shooting in our house, I think my parents are dead, I think my family is dead.'”
Port St. Lucie police say the suspect and the victims were neighbors who were having a dispute about a dog that was deemed dangerous in court earlier Monday.
“They all came home from court and then the suspect armed himself and went to the victim’s house,” Mascera said.
Polcie say when they responded to the scene around noon, they found an adult man dead and a 13-year-old female critically injured. She later died at the hospital.
Asst. Chief Richard Del Toro/ Port St. Lucie Police:
“The officers and deputies encountered the suspect who was inside the victim’s residence,” Port St. Lucie Assistant Police Chief Richard Del Toro said. “They exchanged gunfire with the suspect. One of our officers was injured.”
The suspect then retreated inside the victim’s house, leading to a two-hour standoff. Police say at least two others were able to escape the house, but were taken to the hospital.
When SWAT arrived, they entered the home and found the suspect dead. It is unclear if the suspect died by suicide or was hit by police gunfire.
“It’s just shocking and it’s just tragic,” Del Toro said. “It’s not characteristic for this neighborhood or the city but we are going to do everything we can to find out all the reasons why.”
A neighbor said he heard gunshots, but thought they were fireworks because he never expected something like this to happen in the neighborhood.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in the last 20 years,” Charles D’Agata said. “It’s a great neighborhood. Something as crazy as this happening over somebody getting emotional over a dog, is unheard of.”
The officer who was shot is expected to be okay, and the use of force by officers is being investigated.