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.
Tags: GUNS, MASS SHOOTING, U.S., US & World