Police: Man's Murder-Suicide Leaves Six Dead
September 27, 2010
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — South Florida authorities were at the scene of an apparent murder-suicide early Monday that left six people dead, including four children.
A police officer was checking a suspicious vehicle around 2 a.m. when he heard what sounded like muffled gun shots, Riviera Beach Police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said. When the officer approached the home, Patrick Dell, 41, went outside and shot himself. Dell died at the scene, she said.
Inside the home, officers found the bodies of the man’s estranged wife and four children, believed to be ages 10 to 15. Another teen was transported to a hospital. The teen’s condition and gender were not immediately released.
“It appears to be a murder-suicide,” Brown said.
Phone messages left with fire rescue and hospital officials were not immediately returned.
By dawn Monday, police had blocked off all access to the crime scene, parking a large police truck to impede reporters’ views.
The shootings occurred in a neighborhood of modest homes — some boarded up — near a small brick church.
Jeanette Walker, a 56-year-old hairstylist who lives nearby, said she was awakened by gunfire, which is not an uncommon sound in the neighborhood.
“They over there shooting at each other again,” she remembered thinking. “I didn’t pay any attention because I didn’t hear no sirens,” she said.
Walker said there have been several shootings in the area since she moved there about three years ago. It wasn’t until she turned on the morning news that she learned of the deaths.
Associated Press Writer Suzette Laboy in Miami contributed to this report.