The person suspected of killing four people in Lake Wales early Tuesday morning was killed in a shootout with police Wednesday as they tried to catch him.
Officials from the Lake Wales Police Department say that Al Joseph Stenson ran away to the Slumberland Motel in Sanford after killing a mother and her three kids with a gun.
When the 38-year-old Stenson was found, officers worked with the Sanford Police Department and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to try to arrest him.
A department report said that Stenson had said he would kill himself or force the police to kill him. “An officer was shot after a standoff that lasted for hours and included crisis negotiations and SWAT.”
At the scene, Stenson was said to be dead.
Police say that Stenson left the scene of the killing at the Dawnlight Drive in Sunrise Apartments around 5 a.m. on Tuesday. Later in the evening, family members found the bodies and called 911 to tell the police at 8:51 p.m.
In a video on the WFLA Tampa News Channel 8 website, Lake Wales Police Chief Chris Velasquez said, “We’re at the scene of a horrible murder where four people are dead.” “What we’ve been through tonight, and what a lot of other families have been through as well, is a real tragedy.”
Police haven’t given out much more information about the crimes. But they said that the suspect and the people who were hurt knew each other. Because of Marsy’s Law, the names of the people who died were not made public.
Police say that when officers went to the house for a medical call, they found the bodies of a mother and her three children, one adult and two children, all of whom had been shot.
Velasquez said in the video that the victims were 40, 21, 17, and 11 years old. He also said that one was a man and three were women.
Police said that Stenson from Lake Wales may have lived in the flat.
As the investigation goes on, the police will give more information as it becomes known.
One of the law enforcement organizations that helped find the suspect was the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
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