LAKE WALES — After an hourslong standoff at a motel, police in central Florida fatally shot a man suspected of killing a 40-year-old woman and her three children, authorities said Wednesday.
Al Joseph Stenson, 38, quickly became a suspect on Tuesday night after police were called to an apartment complex in Lake Wales, where the bodies of the woman and children, ages 21, 17, and 11, were found.
After investigators tracked Stenson to the motel, he made statements that “he would kill himself or force law enforcement to kill him,” Lakes Wales police said in a news release.
Investigators did not release a motive in the family’s slaying, and did not describe the relationship between Stenson and the victims other than to say they knew each other.
Stenson died at the Slumberland Motel in Sanford, north of Orlando, after a standoff involving crisis negotiators and a SWAT team, police said. Sanford is about a two-hour drive from Lake Wales.
Police believe the victims, whose names have not been released, were shot around 5 a.m. Tuesday. Police were called to the scene just before 9 p.m., when someone found their bodies in the apartment.
Stenson was wanted on four counts of first-degree murder, police Chief Chris Velasquez said.
“Our hearts are broken” for the family, Velasquez said.
Earlier this week, authorities in Texas arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting five neighbors after an extensive four-day manhunt. Francisco Oropeza, 38, was taken into custody Tuesday. The dead included a 9-year-old boy.
Authorities say Oropeza had been shooting rounds on his property and the neighbors asked him to go farther away because the noise was keeping a baby awake.