Breaking News Emails
A convicted felon fatally shot his daughter and six grandchildren before killing himself in a Florida home Thursday, police said. The shooter, who was identified as 51-year-old Don Spirit, took his own life after police officers arrived at the residence in Bell, outside Gainesville, Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz said. Schultz said that authorities found the seven victims "all over on the property." They included a 10-week-old baby.
Spirit already had a lengthy criminal record stretching back 22 years, according to Florida corrections records. Reports from 2003 show that one charge, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, came after he pleaded guilty to accidentally shooting and killing his 8-year-old son while they were out hunting. He was sentenced to three years in prison. Spirit was also convicted of depriving a child of food and shelter, battery, and possession of drug paraphernalia between 1992 and 1995. Schultz said officers had previously "been out to that residence on numerous law enforcement occasions." The victims were identified as Sarah Lorraine Spirit, 28, and her daughters Alanna Stewart, 2½ months, Brandon Stewart, 4, Destiny Stewart, 5, and Kylie Kuhlmann, 9, and sons Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8, and Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11. "This is something you can't explain," Schultz said at a press conference. "I will continue to ask everybody to pray for the families."
— M. Alex Johnson, Hasani Gittens and Becky Bratu