LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - A father was the one who called 911 after finding the bodies of his two children and their mother after an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators say the woman shot her two young children – a 3-year-old and a 9-month-old – and then turned the gun on herself.
Sheriff Chris Nocco said Thursday that this case highlights the need for more attention to and better treatment for mental health.
Neighbors, meanwhile, can’t believe what was happening behind closed doors, right next door.
"It’s just a tragedy all the way around," neighbor Bill Florence said. "Earlier, about 15, 20 minutes before the sirens, I heard screaming."
It was 6 p.m. Wednesday when a father came home to find the bodies of his children and their mother in a bedroom.
"As we saw last night, and in too many tragedies, law enforcement is only called when a crisis has hit, a tragedy, and last night was a tragedy," Sheriff Nocco said.
He focused Thursday on what he calls a "mental health crisis" in the country.
"The tragedies we saw last night emphasize the fact that we gotta keep speaking louder and louder and so it gets through to everyone out there. We're in a mental health crisis," he said.
The sheriff says the father is cooperating fully with the investigation.
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line).
The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans.