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Grady Judd: 3 killed in apparent murder-suicide in Polk County

Seven children were in the home at the time, the sheriff said.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, shown in this 2016 photo, announced Monday that a three had died in an apparent murder-suicide in his county.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, shown in this 2016 photo, announced Monday that a three had died in an apparent murder-suicide in his county.
Published Jun. 7
Updated Jun. 7

Editor’s note: This story includes discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, resources are available to help. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or call the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay by dialing 2-1-1.

LAKELAND — A Florida man who had been drinking and using cocaine fatally shot his longtime girlfriend and a man before turning the gun on himself, authorities said Monday.

Seven children who were in the home at the time were not harmed, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release.

“When you combine excessive amounts of alcohol, illegal drugs, and an explosive temper, murder can occur,” Judd said. “None of this should have ever happened.”

Related: With death on the table, man begins his defense in Tampa murder trial

Authorities responding to numerous 911 calls early Sunday found Jesus Nunez, 34, dead outside a home. He appeared to have suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.

Inside the home were the bodies of Nunez’s girlfriend of 14 years, 38-year-old Stephanie Ruiz, and 36-year-old Yunieki Luis. Both were fatally shot. The children and another adult fled the home when the shooting began, investigators said.

Related: Hernando County man hit pedestrian, drove away with body and dumped it, troopers say

Witnesses said Nunez had become angry about his relationship with Ruiz, worsened by the drinking and cocaine use, Judd said.

Ruiz and Nunez had four children together. None of them were injured.

Related: Man with Tampa criminal record arrested after human remains found in bag

“This appears to be two homicides committed by Jesus Nunez, who then shot and killed himself,” the sheriff’s statement said.