Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bizarre Shooting in Florida Leaves Three Dead, Two Injured

Without provocation and for reasons that cannot yet be explained, on Thursday night (February 9) William De Jesus, his wife and their two children, aged nine and seven, drove from their home in Port Orange, FL, a distance of 271 miles (or 350 kilometers), and drive to the Highland Woods RV Park in Deerfield Beach, FL, a site popular with Canadians.

Once at the park, according to police, De Jesus drove up to the lot where a Quebec couple had parked their RV and got out of his car. Ovila Plante, 76, from La Tuque, Quebec, came to the door of his mobile home when Jesus approached, but the two had difficulty communicating because Plante spoke French as a first-language.

Suddenly, De Jesus began yelling without explanation, pushed Plante away from him, pulled out a handgun and shot the Canadian once in the chest. When Plante fell, De Jesus walked toward Plante again and executed the man by shooting him in the head.

De Jesus then forced his way into Plante's mobile home along with his family, with Plante's girlfriend, Quebecer Pierrette Beauchemin, who is in her 70s, the latter of whom was able to escape from the scene and notify authorities at the park.

The incident ended on Friday morning (February 10) when a SWAT team from the Broward County Sheriff's Department converged on the RV park, although the confrontation lasted nearly seven hours at which point De Jesus stabbed his entire family, as well as himself.

The confrontation lasted nearly seven hours, but not before DeJesus stabbed his entire family and killed himself with a knife, although his wife, Deanna, and seven-year-old son, Samson, survived and have been hospitalized. His nine-year-old son, Jeshiah, died from his wounds as well.

COMMENT: Thus far, police continue to be baffled as to why De Jesus would drive nearly 300 miles and kill someone he did not know, particularly an elderly person.

Hopefully, the investigation that will ensue, particularly the interview of De Jesus' wife, (at such time as she is able to speak with police), will lead to a motive for the brutal sequence of events. Autopsies on the victims are underway.

Without question, life today is unpredictable and often perilous. If there are any lessons-learned from this unexplained event, it is that we should all have our personal affairs in order because we never know when one day will be our last.

There are few steps that Mr. Plante could have taken to reduce his exposure to what occurred. Fortunately, Ms. Beauchemin was able to escape from the mobile home and alert authorities to what had transpired.

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