Three people in their early 20s were found dead of gunshots wounds in a home in Florida after they were attacked during a Super Bowl party, police say.
Jupiter Police said in a press release they are searching for a suspect in the shooting deaths of Brandi El-Salhy, 24; Sean Henry, 25; and Kelli Doherty, 20.
Police responded to the home about 10:30 p.m. on February 5 after receiving reports of shots fired. El-Salhy, Henry and Doherty were dead at the scene when officers arrived.
On Sunday night neighbors were asked to leave their homes, while others were asked to stay inside. Police searched the area, but were not able to find a suspect.
A second shooting was reported about 15 minutes later at Via Veracruz and Paseos Way, less than a mile south of the home on Mohawk Drive where El-Salhy, Henry and Doherty were killed, police told the Palm Beach Post. The victim in the second shooting, who has not been identified, was rushed to a trauma center. That victim’s condition wasn’t immediately available.
Police believe the fourth victim drove to that area from the original shooting scene and was not shot there. The fourth victim, who has not been named, remains hospitalized, fighting for his life. Police said he is not in a condition to speak with officers.
Another shooting was reported overnight Monday into Tuesday at a CVS Pharmacy in Jupiter. One person was taken to the hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, WPTV reported. But investigators said there is no indication that shooting is related to the others.
“Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Jupiter Police Department at 561-746-6201,” Jupiter Police said.
Here’s what you need to know about the victims and the shooting:
1. Police Believe the Victims Were Targeted & Have Identified a Person of Interest
Police believe the victims were targeted, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Investigators have identified a “person of interest,” but have not released the name or any other information about that person, according to the Post.
Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow told reporters they do not believe the shootings were “random acts of violence.” He did not expand on why investigators think that.
Details about how the three victims knew each other have not been released. They are all friends on Facebook, and all three posted often about attending concerts and music events, including EDM shows and festivals.
Henry and Doherty both attended the ABC School of Bartending, according to Facebook posts.
The killings are the first in Jupiter since 2015, and the first in the Jupiter River Estates neighborhood since 2009, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Maggie Jeffries, who lives a few houses away, told the Post, “It’s a great neighborhood. We all wave to each other.”
Jeffries told the newspaper the shooting started right after the Super Bowl ended.
“I heard four shots. Then quiet. Then four more shots. I knew it wasn’t fireworks,” Jeffries said. “My dogs started barking. I knew it was gunfire. I thought somebody was shooting, celebrating the Super Bowl.”
Another neighbor, who didn’t want to be named, told the Post he heard eight initial shots and saw a young man run and duck. He said the man ran back toward the area where the initial gunshots were heard. He then heard one final shot and a care speeding away.
Vicki Wagley also told the newspaper she heard the shots while at a friend’s house watching the game.
“We were sitting in the living room after the Super Bowl,” Wagley said. “We heard four quick shots. Then quiet for about 10 seconds. Then four more shots. I thought it was Patriots fans celebrating the Super Bowl. Then we saw police cars outside.”
2. The Man Who Is Listed as the Renter of the Home Has Been Arrested on Federal Gun Charges
The man who is the renter of the Mohawk Drive home where the shooting occurred was arrested Thursday on federal gun charges, police said.
Charles Vorpagel, 27, was taken into custody by the FBI, the Palm Beach Post reports.
The arrest of Vorpagel was announced by local police investigating the homicides, but police have not said if he has any connection to the killings, WPTV reports.
His family told reporters the arrest is not directly related to the homicides. According to the Palm Beach Post, Charlie Vorpagel has been arrested multiple times in the past.
In 2009, Vorpagel was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office after he was found walking in a park with a fully loaded handgun concealed in his pants, according to the Post. Police searched a backpack of a man with him and found tablets of Alprazolam, the generic form of Xanax. The man told police the pills belonged to both of them.
The then-20-year-old Vorpagel pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to nine months in jail and probation. He was arrested a year later on a probation violation and spent another seven months in jail.
In 2014, Vorpagel was arrested by Jupiter Police and charged with DUI and marijuana possession after a crash. He had marijuana and amphetamines in his system, police said.
Some homes surrounding the house where the shootings occurred were evacuated after a “suspicious device,” was found in the area, Jupiter Police said.
Later Monday morning police said the device was “deemed safe and residents who were evacuated from the area are free to return home.” They did not say what the device was or why they considered it to be suspicious.
About 15 homes were evacuated.
The Jupiter Christian School, located in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, was closed Monday to limit the amount of people in the area, school officials said in a statement:
The administration places high importance on the safety and security of our students and employees,” the school said in a message on its website. “Overnight, Jupiter Police responded to a shooting resulting in the death of three people on Mohawk Street. Currently, the search remains ongoing for the suspect. The President of Jupiter Christian School has been in direct contact with Jupiter police officials. While the facilities at Jupiter Christian School are not within the immediate search radius, police expect to be in the neighborhood throughout the day and Mohawk Street will be closed. Jupiter Christian School will be closed Monday to minimize traffic flow in the neighborhood given ongoing police efforts.
Access to Jupiter High School, about one mile away from the crime scene, was limited Monday out of “an abundance of caution,” the school district said.
“It’s a middle-class neighborhood, mostly owners, some rentals,” Jennifer Foster, a 13-year resident of Jupiter River Estates told the Palm Beach Post. “Everybody is friendly, kids go trick-or-treating every year. We’ve had petty crimes here, never anything like this.”
3. Henry Was a Jupiter Native Who Worked in Construction & Recently Returned From Volunteering in Haiti With His Church
Sean Henry, 25, was a native of Jupiter, according to his Facebook page. He studied at Tallahassee Community College and works in construction.
Henry was also active in his church, JupiterFIRST, and recently returned from volunteering with the church in Haiti, building homes there, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The church’s chief operating officer Tisa Oldham, told the newspaper Henry had been a member of the church since he was a child, and led prayer for children during a Sunday service last week. He was also a leader of the church’s youth group.
“He is deeply missed here,” Oldham said. “He is loved by this congregation. We plan to make ourselves available to his family.”
Friends posted tributes to Henry on Facebook on Monday.
“So sad to hear of the loss of Sean Henry what a beautiful person and man he could really work a room.. from youth group to taking shots at Jumby you will be missed along with that crazy infectious smile. You were one of the good ones Sean,” Kimberly Perry wrote.
“No one could light up a room like you did with your personality and smile. You truly were a special kid taken from us way too early Sean Henry, I have so many happy memories of you my dude. Watch over us from up there my man,” Steven Boyer wrote.
4. El-Salhy’s Friend Says Her Heart Was ‘Made of Pure Gold’
Brandi El-Salhy, 24, was also a native of Jupiter and was living in Gainesville, according to her Facebook page.
Friends expressed disbelief over the shooting in tributes posted on social media.
“I can’t even wrap my head around this right now. Brandi El-Salhy you have been such a good friend to me since we were in the fifth grade together,” Chelsea Heins wrote. “Your heart is made of pure gold. I can’t believe this is real. Rest in paradise my love, watch over us all.”
Another friend, Bryan Alexander, wrote, “You were the first real friend I had in a place where I knew nobody. Anytime I ever needed you I could count on you to drop anything you were doing just to be there for me. You’re one of the most cheerful and sweetest girls I know. Thanks for being you Brandi El-Salhy. May you RIP.”
5. Doherty Worked as an Assistant to a Realtor & Promoted IHeartRaves Gear
Police said Kelli Doherty, 20, is from Tequesta, Florida. She graduated from William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, according to her Facebook page.
She worked as an assistant to Monika Phillips, a realtor at Keller Williams in Palm Beach Gardens. She recently posted about her job on Instagram, writing, “Couldn’t be any happier today just got my name on the office I work at.”
Doherty was also a fan of electronic dance music (EDM) and promoted gear for IHeartRaves, according to her social media posts.