A 13-year-old girl was one of three people fatally shot in Florida following a dispute over a dog in Port St. Lucie.
Port St. Lucie Police confirmed the presence of an active shooter at SE Morningside Boulevard near Morningside Elementary School on the evening of July 6, after 6 p.m.
Here’s what you need to know:
3 People Are Dead, Including the Shooter
Police said on July 6, “the scene is contained to one house. SWAT TEAM is securing the house at this time. There is still a large police presence and perimeter. Please stay away from the area.”
A later update said “3 people dead on scene, including suspect. 2 victims transported to hospital for treatment. 1 PSL Ofcr shot- non-life-threatening, other PSL Offcr being medically treated; both doing well. PSLPD investigating homicide, SLCSO investigating Ofcr/Dep involved shooting.”
“The incident happened about 12:30 p.m. in the 2500 block of Southeast Morningside Boulevard, south of Port St. Lucie Boulevard,” USA Today reported.
“When the call came out … the caller said there’s someone in our house and shooting my parents,” Sheriff Ken Mascara said.
“Officers found an adult man dead, while a 13-year-old girl was critically injured. She later died at a hospital.”
A Police Media Conference Was Held on the Scene
In a media conference, Richard Del Toro, assistant chief with the Port St. Lucie police, confirmed further details.
“When we got here, we found two people injured, one adult male that passed away from his injuries. The officers and deputies encountered the suspect inside the victims’ residence. They exchanged gunfire with the suspect. One of our officers was injured with gunfire, non-life-threatening injuries.
“The deputy and the officer were able to take the female victim, about 13 years of age, outside the residence and across the street to the middle school, where she was transported the hospital, and later succumbed to her injuries,” he said.
Del Toro said one person was transported to the emergency room with non-threatening injuries. The SWAT team was on scene and secured the perimeter of the main entry to the house.
Del Toro confirmed that the shooter was the victims’ neighbor and was an adult male. A juvenile female was one of the victims. Police confirmed the dispute was over a situation around a neighborhood dog that he said was the shooter’s dog. The dog had been declared dangerous in court earlier in the day, Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.
Del Toro said the officer who was shot in the arm in the incident was “doing ok.” Police went on the say the incident was “shocking and tragic” and “uncharacteristic for this neighborhood.”
When asked whether the shooter had responded to complaints about him before or had a history of violence, Del Toro said, “I don’t know about a history of violence. I do know we’ve had the situation with the dog, and the dog was declared dangerous … in court.”
Police did not confirm the exact nature of the complaint against the dog when one reporter asked whether the victim had complained about the dog being noisy or barking a lot.
Del Toro confirmed the dog belonged to the shooter, but was uncertain why it had been declared dangerous.
He said the evidence pointed to “an intentional act of violence against these neighbors.” Some of the family — around three or four — who were in the house at the time had managed to escape, he said.
“We encountered the suspect and exchanged gunfire with him. One of our officers was hit. I’m thankful he’s okay, the rest of the officers and deputies are ok. We’re going to do our best to find out what led to this incident.”
“The suspect eventually ended up inside the home of the victims, and was found dead in a bedroom upstairs,” he said.