Elderly victim, suspect die in Winter Haven home invasion

- The survivor of a deadly home invasion in Winter Haven has been released from the hospital.

Mary McLees, 72, lost her husband, Paul McLees, in the home invasion that happened Saturday afternoon on Laurel Oak Drive.

"While I am so sad to have lost him, I feel so lucky to have had him for 53 years before yesterday," Mary said.

According to investigators, the suspect, 25-year-old Ricardo Gomez, was armed with a large knife when he entered the McLees' home.

Deputies said Gomez forced Paul and Mary to open their safe during the incident. There was a loaded gun in the safe and detectives believe Paul pulled the gun out and started shooting at the suspect. A bullet grazed his wife, who then ran from the home to call for help.

When deputies arrived, Mary reported that her husband was still inside with Gomez. They subsequently found both of them inside suffering from gunshot wounds. Deputies said Paul had shot Gomez once, but then the suspect grabbed the gun and shot Paul. He was pronounced dead at the home.

Gomez was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died. It's unclear why he targeted the McLees' home.

Gomez had five prior arrests in Polk County for various crimes.

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