A little girl in Florida is without parents after authorities confirmed her mother and father died in an apparent murder-suicide, during which she was also shot.
During a news conference Tuesday night, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco revealed the 5-year-old girl was unaware she suffered from a through and through gunshot wound to her arm during the Dec. 13 incident. “She’s a tough little girl,” he said.
It was unclear if she was an intended target.
According to Nocco, deputies responded to a shooting at a home in Land O’Lakes, Fla., that evening. The 911 caller told police she was babysitting a woman’s child.
As the woman and child were walking the babysitter to her car, a person ran toward them and started firing.
Deputies discovered the woman dead on the front lawn. The little girl was located inside the home, injured. According to Nocco, the girl told responding officers, “My daddy is upstairs. He’s inside the master bathroom, and I heard a bang.”
The man was found with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The identities of those involved have not been disclosed and it was unclear if the babysitter was also hurt during the incident.
“Tonight, we’re dealing with a tragedy where a 5-year-old little girl no longer has a mother or father,” Nocco told reporters. “This child is gonna have to carry this for the rest of her life. Anytime you talk about the Christmas season, she’s gonna remember this horrific time.”
The girl is now recovering at the hospital. Nocco said the child’s father was previously arrested in August 2022 for a felony domestic battery charge. The girl’s mother had a restraining order against him at the time he committed Tuesday’s murder-suicide.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.