A Lee County, Florida man shot and killed his wife and three daughters—ages 10, 6, and 2—over the weekend, before turning the gun on himself. Sheriff Mike Scott called it the single-largest mass shooting in Lee County history.
“This is everyday USA behind me,” Scott said on Sunday as he was standing front of the crime scene. “Something snapped, something went terribly wrong. And we’ll never know the answer to why.”
No, probably not. But we do know the answer how: He had a gun. Whatever it was that set the shooter off—alcohol, mental illness, a domestic dispute—it was the immediate availability of the gun (which he no doubt kept to protect his family) that made his awful impulse so deadly.
To emphasize that point, a neighbor, Karen Downare, is quoted remembering the shooter as a “kind, gentle, loving dad.”
“If you would have told me that it was possible for him to ever do this, I would have told you you’re a liar,” she insisted. “That it was not possible for that man to do that to his family.”
Tragically, yes, it was possible, Karen. With a gun.