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Dog dispute led to shooting, 3 deaths in Florida, authorities say

Among the dead: a 13-year-old girl
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 12:14 PM EDT
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (WPBF/Hearst/CNN) - Police said a shooting that left three people dead, including a teenage girl, started with a court dispute over a dog.

It’s not clear yet if the suspect took his own life or was killed by police gunfire.

“If you heard this call come over the radio, it would make the hair on your neck stand up -- a little girl calls in saying ‘there’s someone shooting in our house, I think my parents are dead, I think my family is dead,’” St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascera said.

Port St. Lucie Police say the suspect and the victims were neighbors who were having a dispute about a dog that was deemed dangerous in court earlier Monday.

“They all came home from court, and then the suspect armed himself and went to the victim’s house,” Mascera said.

Port St. Lucie Police said when they responded to the scene around noon, they found an adult man dead and a 13-year-old girl critically injured. She died at the hospital.

“The officers and deputies encountered the suspect who was inside the victim’s residence. They exchanged gunfire with the suspect. One of our officers was injured,” Assistant. Chief Richard Del Toro sad.

The officer who was shot is expected to be OK.

The suspect then retreated inside the victim’s house, leading to a two-hour standoff. Police said at least two others were able to escape the house but were taken to the hospital.

When SWAT arrived, they entered the home and found the suspect dead. It’s unclear how the suspect died.

“It’s just shocking and it’s just tragic,” Del Toro said. “It’s not characteristic for this neighborhood or the city but we are going to do everything we can to find out all the reasons why.”

A neighbor who said he heard gunshots thought they were fireworks because he never expected something like this to happen in their neighborhood.

“Nothing like this has ever happened in the last 20 years. It’s a great neighborhood. Something as crazy as this happening over somebody getting emotional over a dog is unheard of,” Charles D’Agata said.

Copyright 2020 WPBF, Hearst via CNN. All rights reserved.

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