A quiet young man who lived with his grandmother locked three teen-age boys in his car trunk, took them to a tent in the woods and shot them, killing two, authorities said Monday.
Robert Kay, 24, was arrested Sunday night and charged with three counts of kidnapping, two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, authorities said.
"The victims and the suspect all knew each other. So they had no reason to fear the suspect, no reason to think they were in terrible danger," said Gerry Poole, a Lee County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Poole said the motive was under investigation.
"Kay shot all three boys at close range," she said.
The boys, ages 13, 14 and 15, sneaked out of their homes early Sunday in this town near Fort Myers.
The 14-year-old, Chris Stricklin, was shot three times but survived after throwing his arms over his head and making it to a house. The resident, Alice Stewart, called 911.
"I looked out the window and saw him standing out there with blood," she said.
The boy was listed in stable condition at Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center in Fort Myers, said hospital spokesman Randy Smith.
Ms. Stewart said Chris told her he and the other boys met Kay a short time after sneaking out of their homes. Kay put them in the trunk of his car and drove them to a remote area in Lehigh Acres where he had a tent set up, she said.
"Chris said, "He kept us there all night and he assured us that he was going to let us go,' " Ms. Stewart said.
She said the boy "just left his friends there and assumed that they were dead. He said he knew one wasn't breathing and he didn't know about the other one."
Nathan Goldsberry, 13, and Irish Mullins, 15, were killed, Poole said. All three boys were close friends, family members said.
Deputies surrounded Kay's home Sunday night. He came outquietly.
Kay, described by neighbors as a quiet loner, was being held at the Lee County Jail.
"He's just easy-going and doesn't cause any trouble," said Chuck Reason.
Kay had been living in the neighborhood about eight months with his grandmother. Reason said Kay was a loner who often worked around the house. Kay often stopped by to talk camping or shooting.
"He's just a skinny little kid," Reason said. Neighbor Annette Bethune said: "He was always quiet. You never hear anything out of him."