A South Florida man used a crossbow to kill his wife and teenage son in their townhouse, tried to kill a second son who is a student at Florida State University and wound up dead in a motel bathroom, authorities said Wednesday.
After a three-hour standoff with police Tuesday night, investigators said the suspect killed himself inside a Lake City, Fla. motel. Witnesses said it was chaos.
"All of the cop cars had the whole entire row of Highway 90, all the way from one entrance to the next, completely blocked off," Valerie Winters told Jacksonville TV station WAWS.
Broward Sheriff's Office deputies said the body of Pedro Jose Maldonado Sr., 53, of Weston was found inside the motel room near Lake City. He apparently died by slitting his own throat, investigators said.
Before that, deputies said Maldonado called a friend to say he had killed his wife, 47-year-old Monica Narvaez-Maldonado, and younger son Pedro Jose Maldonado Jr., 17. Both had been shot with what deputies described as a handheld crossbow that fires small darts.
Authorities believe they were killed sometime Monday. After that, they said, Maldonado drove to Tallahassee and rented a motel room. Just after 7 a.m. Tuesday, he apparently attacked his older son, 21-year-old Jose Maldonado, with the crossbow but the dart just grazed the son's ear. Deputies say the father tried to choke the son, but the younger Maldonado managed to escape.
Authorities had responded to the Maldonado home Tuesday with a SWAT team after the man's friend telephoned about his confession to the killings. After finding the bodies, they learned through unspecified means that Maldonado was staying at a motel near Lake City, east of Tallahassee and hundreds of miles north of the original crime scene.
Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputies found Maldonado dead about 2 a.m. Wednesday.
No information was provided about a possible motive for the rampage.