In the months before a Volusia County man shot his three children, his wife's drinking seemed to be tearing the family apart.

According to documents released Tuesday by state child welfare officials, Cynthia Mohney was stumbling drunk at times, repeatedly slapped the children and they were increasingly afraid of her.

It was her disturbing behavior that brought child protective investigators to the home in June and recommended she seek substance abuse treatment. Two of the children even told investigators they felt safer with their father.

AP Photo/Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office

Two weeks before a Florida man fatally shot his daughter and six grandchildren, someone called the state child abuse hotline, worried that adults were doing drugs in front of the kids, according to documents released Monday.

Authorities said 51-year-old Donald Spirit called 911 from his mobile home Thursday warning he might hurt himself or others. By the time a deputy arrived, Spirit had committed suicide. And he had killed 28-year-old Sarah Spirit and her six children, including an infant girl born in June.

Two people are dead and a third is hospitalized following a shooting at a West Palm Beach medical office. The suspected gunman had a meeting at Doctor’s Choice Medical Center Thursday, when he got angry, shot a woman and a man, who died, the Palm Beach Post reports. The gunman also shot and killed himself. This is the fifth homicide in Palm Beach County since Monday.


Senseless and tragic shootings occurred near Tampa and in West Palm Beach on Monday.  In one, a retired police officer irked over a fellow moviegoer’s incessant texting shot him in the head. In the other, a recently divorced nurse's assistant who was being forced out of her home through foreclosure shot her two teen-age children and herself.