BELL, Fla. — A shooting in north Florida has left multiple people from one family dead.
The Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office has confirmed to The Associated Press that it is investigating a shooting in the town of Bell Thursday. WCJB-TV says police are classifying it as a major shooting.
During a press conference at 8:30 p.m. local time Robert Schultz, the sheriff of Gilchrist County, said that Don Charles Spirit, a white, 52-year-old male, shot himself, his daughter and 6 grandchildren.
The victims were identified as Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11; Kylie Kuhlmann, 9; Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8; Brandon Stewart, 4; Destiny Stewart, 5; 2-month-old Alanna Stewart, and their mother Sarah Spirit, 28, according to The Orlando Sentinel
While Schultz could not identify a potential motive, citing the ongoing investigation, he confirmed that Spirit himself called 911 and that authorities were in "close proximity" when he shot himself. He also noted that authorities had been called to the house, Spirit's residence, for "a wide range of things" prior to the shootings, but did not elaborate.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Samantha Andrews told USA Today that the incident appeared "to be a murder-suicide. There is no danger to the community. It was at a private residence there at Bell.''
In 2001, Spirit accidentally killed his 8-year-old son while hunting in Osceola County, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Beginning in 2003, he served three years in prison on a gun charge related to the incident.
Bell is small town of just 350 people about 30 miles west of Gainesville.
Additional reporting by Mash, Kate Sommers-Dawes
UPDATED Sept. 19, 12:35 p.m. ET: The victims' names as well as Spirit's criminal history were added throughout this story.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was welcomed by U.S. lawmakers as he arrived to address a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 18.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko requested more military and economic aid for his country at a joint session of U.S. Congress on Thursday. In his speech, he tried to rally lawmakers around upholding Ukrainian sovereignty against attacks by separatists and Russian soldiers.
“Don’t let Ukraine stand alone in the face of this aggression," Poroshenko said. "I urge America to lead the way."
Poroshenko's request for greater military and economic assistance from the United States and other Western nations comes at a crucial moment in Ukraine's conflict with Russia and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. Kiev had been waging a battle to take back control of its east for nearly half a year when an influx of Russian support for separatists caused Ukrainian officials to sign a deal on Tuesday that gave rebels significant autonomy in parts of the country's east.
However, Russian soldiers and separatists are still operating in Ukraine, Reuters reported. And Poroshenko's Thursday speech suggested that he is not willing to let part of his country drift away from the central government in Kiev.
Poroshenko requested that NATO give Ukraine "special security status," which would provide the highest degree of protection for a country that is not a part of the alliance. "One cannot win the war with blankets," he said.
The U.S. and European nations have hesitated to send military aid to Ukraine partly due to fears over escalating the potential for a wider military confrontation with Russia, the Washington Post reported. Ukrainian officials have become wary that they may be forced to combat separatists and Russian forces by themselves, and have ramped up calls for assistance.
The U.S. showed off its armed forces with two military exercises inside Ukraine this month, and has so far provided the country with $60 million in non-lethal aid, according to the Post. The U.S. and the European Union have also slapped sanctions on Russia that have targeted that country's military, financial and energy industries, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Still, Poroshenko is seeking more immediate action. During his speech, he suggested that Ukrainians already have the will to fight — they just need better tools to use in battle.
“In Ukraine, you don’t have to build a democracy," Poroshenko said. "It already exists. You just defend it.”
Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a man and a woman who have been holding hands for more than 700 years in Leicestershire, England.
The skeletal remains were unearthed two weeks ago at the "lost chapel of St. Morell" near the small village of Hallaton, the University of Leicester announced on Thursday.
The discovery comes as part of a four-year excavation project by the Hallaton Fieldwork Group, a partnership between local volunteers and University of Leicester archaeologists.
The remains were dated to the 14th century using radiocarbon, and it appears they were about the same age when they were buried together. Researchers said it is unclear why they were found at the small chapel and not at the main church in the nearby village.
"We have seen similar skeletons before from Leicester where a couple has been buried together in a single grave," Vicki Score, ULAS project manager said in a statement. "The main question we find ourselves asking is why were they buried up there? There is a perfectly good church in Hallaton. This leads us to wonder if the chapel could have served as some sort of special place of burial at the time."
Researchers believe it is possible the bodies were buried apart from the main church because they were criminals, foreigners or sick. Alternatively, the chapel may have been a special pilgrimage site.
In addition to the hand-holding couple, eleven other skeletons have been uncovered at the site. The archaeologists also uncovered Roman archaeology, including fragments of stone masonry and tiles. Silver pennies found at the site show it was in use from the 12th to 16th centuries; Score. the ULAS project manager, told local paper Leicester Mercury the Roman ruins make the site particularly notable.
"What makes the discovery of the medieval chapel doubly exciting is to find the remains of a previous Roman building underneath it," she said. "It shows this ground has been used as a special sort of place by people for at least 2,000 years."