PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — A St. Johns County community is heartbroken after deputies say a murder-suicide left a man and a child dead. It happened around 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon, a tragic situation that’s left neighbors visibly shaken and upset. Once the crime scene cleared, neighbors could be seen placing flowers outside of the home where it happened.
“We’re in complete shock,” neighbor Wendy Moroni said.
Two people, including a child, are dead, neighbors told Action News Jax it was a father and his daughter who died.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said deputies got a call to Bucktail Ave. about suicide threats. Inside the home, they found the man dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and a young girl nearby shot. She was taken to Wolfson’s Children’s hospital where she died.
“We’re all feeling the loss significantly, this is going to be hard,” Moroni said.
Moroni and her son John know the family and the victims. John is in fifth grade and says the girl sat next to him at school.
“It’s not going to feel the same anymore,” he said.
They didn’t want to share the victims’ names but told us they, along with the entire community, are incredibly close-knit. Moroni said you never know what issues a family may be privately dealing with.
“I walk this street every day, we walk our dogs, he rides his bike past here, you’d never know,” she said.
A murder-suicide tragedy causing heartbreak for so many, now a memorial is outside the home where it happened as neighbors put down flowers.
The Moroni’s want the entire family to know the community is here for them.
“There are so many people that love them and are praying for them and there’s a lot of moms feeling very heavy hearts tonight,” Moroni said.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said anyone who is struggling with their mental health should reach out for help. The agency listed several local resources including, “Here tomorrow”, “The National Alliance for Mental Illness” and “Epic Behavioral Health.”
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Below is the full statement from SJSO on the incident:
“The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for service in reference to suicide threats in the Nocatee area of St. Johns County. Once on scene, deputies breached the residence and located the subject deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. While clearing the residence, a juvenile with a gunshot wound was also located. Both individuals were located in close proximity to each other. The juvenile was transported to a nearby hospital where they were later pronounced deceased. SJSO’s Major Crimes Unit also responded and is on the scene conducting an investigation. This is believed to be an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public. There will be no further updates at this time. The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone who is struggling to reach out for help. There are many local resources including Here Tomorrow, The National Alliance for Mental Illness, and Epic Behavioral Health. Individuals can also call 988 which is a 24/7 suicide and crisis lifeline.”