A man in Florida returned home to find that his wife had shot herself and their two children dead, police have said.
A father returned to his Land O’ Lakes home on Wednesday evening and discovered his 3-year-old son, 9-month-old baby and his wife dead.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco held a press conference on Thursday discussing the incident but did not reveal the identities of those involved.
Nocco described the event as a “horrific tragedy” and highlighted the importance of mental health and the services available for support.
He also explained that authorities have reached out to next of kin to prevent them from hearing about the deaths on social media.
“Last night we had a horrific tragedy in the Lake Padgett area of Land O’ Lakes,” Nocco said during the news conference.
He continued: “All evidence shows that a young mother killed her 3-year-old son and her 9-month old son and then she turned the gun on herself and killed herself.
“There was no cause of history at this location, Pasco has had no interaction with these individuals before this occurred.”
Nocco reiterated the importance of families hearing of this tragedy from professionals rather than social media.
He said: “Our priorities last night were for the grieving family, we had victim advocates go out. We had to make sure that they were aware.
“We tried to get to them as quick as possible because unfortunately in today’s world, with social media, we know that things get out there fast.
“We think that people should learn through a Chaplain, through a professional that goes out to the house rather than looking on their social media account and getting information.”
The Pasco County Sheriff also addressed the concerns of the public regarding their safety and said this was an isolated incident.
He admitted he was aware that the public would get anxious if they saw multiple police cars in a neighborhood and said due to this they chose to release a media alert.
The gun used in the shooting was legally owned and registered to the husband.
Nocco moved on to discussing the importance of mental health, not just of the public but of officers who have to deal with situations like this as well.
“The reason I am here today is because I want to talk about this mental health crisis that we are in.
“The tragedies that we saw last night emphasize the fact that we got to keep speaking, louder and louder.
“This is so it gets through to everybody out there realizing that we are in a mental health crisis.
“We at Pasco County are just like everybody else in the nation, we are at the heart of this crisis.”
Newsweek has contact the Pasco County Sherriff’s Office for comment.
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