Mom fatally shoots son, herself at Florida gun range

CASSELBERRY — A central Florida woman who fatally shot her son then killed herself at a shooting range said she was the antichrist and that she needed to save her son.

In rambling, teary audio recordings left for her boyfriend and authorities, as well as shorter suicide notes, Marie Moore, 44, apologized several times and said repeatedly: "I had to send my son to heaven and myself to Hell."

The murder-suicide shocked fellow customers and employees at the Shoot Straight range in Casselberry, about 10 miles north of Orlando, on Sunday.

The gun range's security video shows 20-year-old Mitchell Moore aiming at a target in a booth when his mother, 44, walks up behind him and points a gun at the back of his head. In the next frame, the son is seen falling to the ground and a nearby patron appears to alert others as he points to the unseen carnage.

The gun used was rented at the range.

Mitchell's father, Charles Moore, told police that Marie Moore had a history of mental illness and had attempted suicide and been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital in 2002 under the state's Baker Act.

Marie Moore refers to the incident in records she left for police and Shoot Straight, saying she spent a year in and out of a "mental home" but insisted: "I'm not sick."

"I'm sorry to do this in your place of business, but I had to save my son," one message said. "God made me a queen and I failed. I'm a fallen angel. He turned me into the antichrist."

Moore said she could have killed only herself but felt she had to "save" her son and do it in a public way so the world could also be saved. "Hopefully when I die, there will 1,000 years of peace."

She apologized to her boyfriend for hiding her plans from him, but added: "You would've Baker Acted me … and I wouldn't have been able to try to save Mitch."

Larry Anderson, a manager at Shoot Straight, said it's unclear whether the Moores had been to the range before, but they weren't regular customers. The range requires that customers fill out a form with a series of questions, including whether they have ever been convicted of a felony or been declared mentally unstable. But it has no way to verify the information.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Kristen Perezluha said criminal histories are available online for a $24 fee, but ranges are not required to run background checks on customers. Mental health histories are not publicly available because of patient privacy laws, Perezluha said.

Mom fatally shoots son, herself at Florida gun range 04/08/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 10:39pm]

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