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Three adults dead in Florida apparent murder-suicide, four children rescued from scene

Posted at 7:21 AM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 09:21:01-05

LAKELAND, Fla. — Three adults are dead in an apparent murder-suicide and four children were rescued from the scene in Lakeland on Christmas Eve.

The Lakeland Police Department responded to a call from a home on around 5:30 p.m. local time. According to police, four children, all under the age of 10, were inside the house during the incident and were transported to the Lakeland police station.

Police say 30-year-old Leighton Josephs was armed with a handgun when he entered the home and shot a man and a woman inside.

Josephs was known to both victims, according to police.

The four children were uninjured in the incident.

Mary LaRoy, a neighbor, said she is worried for the rescued children after they experienced a traumatic event.

"Children, you know, were taken out of the windows," LaRoy said. "Any time those children think about Christmas, they're going to think about tonight."

The deadly incident remains under investigation, and police are urging anyone with information to contact Detective Laura Dunn at laura.dunn@lakelandgov.net or 863-834-6974.

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— Darren Botelho (@DarrenBotelho) December 25, 2019

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This story was originally published by WFTS in Tampa, Florida.