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Three people were killed Wednesday night in the parking lot of a Florida restaurant in what authorities called an apparent murder-suicide.

The three people were killed outside Corky Bell's, a popular seafood restaurant in East Palatka, about 20 miles south of Jacksonville. Putnam County sheriff's Sgt. Hancel Woods said that gunfire was first reported about 6:48 p.m. ET and that when deputies arrived, they discovered three bodies and "what appeared to be a murder suicide."

Two vehicles ran into each other in the parking lot shortly before the shooting, Woods said, and it "would be my guess" that the incidents were related.

NBC station WTLV of Jacksonville reported that the restaurant was locked down immediately and that diners weren't allowed to walk to their cars — with deputies' escort — until almost two hours after the shooting.


— M. Alex Johnson