Editor’s note: Watch the above video to hear the recorded 911 call. Here’s the original article for reference.
(Reuters) – Florida police released on Tuesday the tape from an emergency call placed last week by a 51-year-old felon who calmly announced that he had just shot his daughter and her six children and planned to shoot himself when officers arrived.
“I just shot my daughter and shot all my grandkids, and I’ll be sitting on my step and when you get here I’m going to shoot myself,” Don Spirit said, adding that one child was a baby.
He grew tense when asked what type of gun he had used, demanding with profanities that authorities come to his house.
“It doesn’t matter what kind of gun I got. They’re all dead,” he said, telling the operator to send deputies.
“Alls I’m doing is waiting for them,” he added.
After arriving, deputies had a “brief verbal exchange” with Spirit before he shot himself, officials said in a statement.
They found the bodies of the children, ranging in age from 3 months to 11 years, inside the home in Bell, a town in north Florida with fewer than 500 residents.
All apparently died of shots from a .45 caliber handgun, authorities said. The weapon was near Spirit, who along with his daughter, Sarah Spirit, 28, were found separately outside.
“This tragic and devastating event may never be fully explained,” the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement. They are investigating how Spirit obtained the firearm as a felon.
Authorities had been warned of issues including violence in the household, the state child welfare agency said.
At the time of the killings, the Florida Department of Children and Families had an open investigation into drug abuse by the adults in the house, where Sarah Spirit had moved in with her children following an arrest.
Both mother and grandfather had been the subject of previous reports involving domestic violence and child abuse. Don Spirit reportedly hit and bruised one of his grandchildren with a belt, the agency said.
In 2008, Sarah Spirit told the court her father had pushed her against the refrigerator and squeezed her face painfully. She asked for domestic violence protection, saying he had a violent temper and she was scared of him. But she did not show up for a hearing, and the petition was dismissed.
Don Spirit fatally shot his son in the head in a 2001 hunting accident, which resulted in his serving jail time following a guilty plea to possessing a firearm as a felon.