The Broward, Fla., sheriff's office says a 76-year-old Canadian man shot dead during a standoff at a Deerfield Beach, Fla., trailer park does not appear to have been known to the shooter, who went on to kill his nine-year-old son before taking his own life.
The elderly Canadian was the first to be killed in what turned into a seven-hour stand-off with authorities. He has been identified as Ovila Plante of La Tuque, Que.
Police were called to the Highland Woods Trailer Park after receiving reports of a shooting around 6:20 p.m. Thursday.
They found one man — now identified as Plante — unresponsive on the ground.
"This is just a bizarre, random encounter," said Broward sheriff's office spokesman Jim Leljedal.
He said the shooter, William De Jesus, 41, drove into the trailer park in a red Mustang, his wife Deanna and two sons inside the car with him. They all got out of the car, and De Jesus walked up to the Plantes' trailer home, for no apparent reason.
"The Canadian couple inside had just finished dinner, and they were sitting in their motor home," Leljedal said. "De Jesus approached and started yelling at them. Plante came out and pushed De Jesus away."
"De Jesus pulled a gun out and shot Plante once in the chest. When the man fell to the ground, De Jesus walked up to him and put another bullet in his head."
William De Jesus then barricaded himself in the Plantes' trailer, taking his own family hostage along with Plante's wife, Pierrette Beauchemin.
About an hour after that standoff began, Beauchemin was released unharmed.
Woman and boy in critical condition
Police said members of the SWAT team moved in around 1:30 a.m. Friday, after failing in repeated efforts to make contact with De Jesus.
"Inside, they found the suspect dead, also a little boy dead inside," said Dani Moschella of the sheriff's office. The boy has been identified as Jeshiah De Jesus, 9.
De Jesus's wife, Deanna De Jesus, 37, and his son Samson, 7, were taken to hospital, where they remain in serious condition.
The trailer park is a popular spot for people from Quebec.