Three dead in Spring Hill murder-suicide

Sheriff Al Nienhuis speaks from the scene of a double murder-suicide in the Wellington subdivision in Spring Hill on Monday, Nov. 21.

SPRING HILL – Three people are dead in a murder-suicide in the Wellington section of Spring Hill, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis, in a video from the scene, said deputies had been called to the home in the 11000 block of Heathrow Avenue earlier in the day about a domestic dispute concerning family members at the house and family member staying there, and the family members wanted the other family member to leave.

It was civil in nature and there was no crime, Nienhuis said.

The deputy explained the process regarding eviction and offered to assist the family in coming to a compromise that would be suitable for all parties involved. Prior to the deputy clearing the call, all three family members agreed that “the issue was over.”

At about 5 p.m., a call came in about an argument, he said, and shots were heard in the background.

“About three hours later, we were called back as a result of gunfire and we did find three individuals deceased,” Nienhuis said. “We believe that all the individuals are related by blood or by marriage.”

During the 911 call, the Sheriff’s Office said, the operator began conversing with the female resident, who requested a deputy respond because the male resident had a firearm. The operator heard what she believed to be a gunshot, followed by the caller screaming and asking the male to “put the gun down.” A second shot was heard. There was no further conversation with the caller.

In the recording there is believed to be three gunshots over an eight-minute period. Based on the call, detectives believe the first shot involved the female homeowner, the second shot was to the second female guest and the third shot was the male homeowner. Detectives believe the male homeowner shot both residents before turning the firearm on himself.

Upon arrival at the scene, deputies observed damage, consistent with a gunshot, to the front door of the residence. Deputies deployed a miniature drone through the hole in the front door. Once inside, the drone allowed deputies to observe injured victims.

Investigation revealed the incident to be a domestic violence double murder/suicide.

There is no danger to the public or the neighborhood, the sheriff said.

“It does appear to be a double murder-suicide,” the sheriff said. “There is no suspect on the loose.”

If you have information on this case, contact Hernando County Crime Stoppers. You will remain anonymous. Hernando County Crime Stoppers can be reached by phone at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or **TIPS from a cellphone.

You may also submit your tip online at http://www.hernandocountycrimestoppers.com.

You will remain anonymous and also be eligible for a reward up to $5,000 cash.

This story has been updated with additional information from the Sheriff's Office.