The father of two of the three children killed in Floral City said Saturday he's "in a shambles" over the deaths in his family.
Tony Lietz, 25, of Holiday said he found out what happened after a somewhat ambiguous call on Friday from the Citrus County Sheriff's Office prompted him to check the Bay News 9 Web site.
That's where he learned that his high school sweetheart, 23-year-old Alicia Chomic, and her three sons had been shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide.
"You don't expect something like that to happen," Lietz said Saturday, sounding shaken. "I'm devastated. … As far as I knew, everybody was happy. This was out of the blue."
Sheriff's spokeswoman Heather Yates said Saturday that an autopsy confirmed what investigators had suspected: Chomic shot Thomas Goldsmith Jr., age 4; Damian Lietz, 2 1/2 years old; and 15-month-old Anthony Lietz Jr., then apparently turned the gun on herself.
Although detectives found the gun, they have not found a suicide note, Yates said. Chomic had no history of violence.
Lietz and Chomic met when they attended J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey. She was known as a quiet person, not someone who talked a lot about her feelings, he said.
"We started a family and I thought everything was okay," he said.
Lietz said he will treasure the good times he shared with the boys — visiting Walt Disney World, watching SpongeBob SquarePants with them, fishing off New Port Richey's Main Street bridge. "They liked to go swimming," he said. "They loved to be outdoors."
Sheriff's officials said Chomic and her children left Pasco County about a week ago to move in with Chomic's mother and stepfather, Vickie and Greg Maslowski, in their Floral City mobile home at 4983 E Stoer Lane. Lietz said he had been advised not to talk about how recently he and Chomic had been living together in Pasco County or why she moved to her mother's house.
Court records show their relationship had its difficulties: Lietz was charged on Valentine's Day 2007 with domestic battery, accused of pushing Chomic in front of the oldest boy.
The Maslowskis went out Thursday evening and returned home about 8 p.m. They saw the door to the bedroom that Chomic shared with her children was closed, and assumed she and the boys were already asleep.
Not until the next morning did the couple discover the truth.
On Friday, Lietz was too upset to talk with reporters. But he agreed to an interview Saturday because, he said, he wanted to talk about his children, so people would know that they were more than just a crime statistic.
Family members have set up accounts at Bank of America and SunTrust in Holiday to collect donations to help pay for the funerals for all three boys.
Thomas Anthony Goldsmith, the father of the oldest boy, is in prison for fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs.
In May, Chomic told Pasco sheriff's deputies that someone broke into her car and stole 120 tablets of the prescription painkiller Roxycodone from her purse. But she never filled out a sworn statement in the case.
Toxicology results from Chomic's autopsy are not complete, Yates said.
Lietz said he has no idea why Chomic would kill the three boys and then herself.
"I got all these people around asking me really tough questions," he said, his voice breaking. "It's been a real tough day or two. … I'm just in a shambles."