A Florida man, who was once a convicted felon, killed six of his grandchildren, his daughter and then himself in a mass shooting, an official in Gilchrist County, said during a press conference Thursday night. The official reportedly identified the man as 51-year-old Don Spirit.
Spirit, who lived in Bell, a small town southeast of Tallahassee, reportedly called 911 and informed police that he might harm himself. Law enforcement officials reportedly found the bodies of the seven victims and Spirit when they arrived at his house, which he shared with his family. According to The Associated Press, Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz released the names of the victims. They were Sarah Lorraine Spirit, 28; Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11; Kylie Kuhlmann, 9; Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8; Destiny Stewart, 5; Brandon Stewart, 4; and Alanna Stewart, who was born in June.
Schultz reportedly said that Spirit was the only suspect in the shooting and that he has a criminal history. However, he did not reveal any details about his past crimes nor did he mention if any weapon had been recovered from the site. Authorities also did not reveal if the woman who was killed was the mother of the children -- two boys and four girls.
"There's still a lot of unanswered questions. There's going to be questions that we're never going to get answered," Schultz said, according to AP.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections website, Spirit was reportedly released from prison in February 2006 after being imprisoned on a gun charge.
AP reported, citing a news story by the Orlando Sentinel in 2003, that a 40-year-old Don Spirit had pleaded guilty to possession of firearms in the shooting of his son Kyle, 8, in a 2001 hunting accident. He was reportedly sentenced to three years in prison.
According to reports, Spirit was convicted of possession of marijuana in 1998.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Samantha Andrews confirmed to USA Today that it was investigating the shooting, which appeared to be a murder-suicide.
“There is no danger to the community. It was at a private residence there at Bell,” Andrews reportedly said.