A 23-year-old man in Florida is currently in critical condition after authorities say he fatally shot his 29-year-old girlfriend and three of her female relatives — including a 4-year-old girl — before turning the gun on himself early Friday morning. Shavell Jordan Jones was charged with four counts of first-degree murder with a firearm, according to jail records.
Jones also allegedly shot a fourth woman related to his girlfriend; that victim managed to escape to a neighbor’s house and call for help. Jones is facing an additional count of first-degree attempted murder with a firearm for the surviving victim’s injuries.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina provided additional details on the mass shooting at a press briefing Friday afternoon, calling the incident “horrific.”
According to the sheriff, deputies at approximately 4 a.m. on Friday responded to a 911 call from a resident living on Myers Drive in east Orange County who said that her neighbor had been shot and needed help. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders entered the home and found all four family members dead from gunshot wounds to the head.
The deceased victims were not identified by name, but authorities said they included a 49-year-old woman (Jones’ girlfriend’s mother), two of that victim’s daughters (Jones’ girlfriend and her 28-year-old sister), and the first victim’s 4-year-old granddaughter.
The woman who survived the shooting was “another daughter” of the 49-year-old victim and the mother of the 4-year-old victim. Her two other children — the 4-year-old victim’s twin sister and a 6-year-old girl — were also discovered inside the home. Sheriff Mina said they “hid under their blankets during the shooting and thankfully they were found unharmed.”
Jones was also found at the scene. He was alive after suffering what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Mina said. He added that Jones was at a local hospital in surgery at the time of the press conference and that it was not clear if he was going to survive his injuries.
According to Mina, Jones and his girlfriend got into an argument at some point on Thursday evening or early Friday morning. Following the argument, Jones began to pack some of his belongings.
“At some point, Jones began to remove some of his belongings from the home and then re-entered the home and began shooting,” the sheriff said.
Mina also stated that there was no history of any kind of violence between the suspect and his girlfriend or any of the family members.
Jones had no criminal history other than a failure to appear for a misdemeanor charge “a couple of years ago,” per Sheriff Mina.
“It’s never easy to make sense of these tragedies. I’m a father, I can’t imagine or fathom such an incident involving my loved ones,” Sheriff Mina said. “Although this will be very difficult for detectives and crime scene detectives as they’re all mother and fathers, aunts and uncles with young children, they’re going to work very, very hard to find some answers and put the pieces together so we can find out why this happened.”
Jones’ sister — who reportedly wished not to be identified — expressed utter disbelief at what her brother allegedly did, particularly to the young child.
“I understand he was drunk and whatever, but still, a kid?” she reportedly told Orlando FOX affiliate WOFL. “He’s not this type of kid. He’s not. He’s always smiling, he’s always at the house with family, he’s always chillin’, playing games with us. I just don’t understand.”
Watch the press conference below via NBC affiliate WESH:
[Orange County Sheriff’s Office]
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