A Florida sheriff’s deputy left behind four kids to “put their shattered lives together” after a tragedy, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Authorities say 39-year-old Hillsborough County deputy Kirk Keithley fatally shot his wife and then killed himself in a murder-suicide at his home on Monday.
Keithley’s children were in the house at the time of the shooting.
Pasco County deputies arrived and found the officer dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. His wife was found on a couch while the children were upstairs.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said:
“Just pray for these kids.
It’s Monday morning, there’s a lot of people waking up, getting ready to go to school, and there’s four children trying to put their shattered lives together and figure out what just happened to them overnight.”
The sheriff’s office identified Keithley’s wife as 33-year-old Samantha Keithley.
The victim’s friend, Kristin Kellin, said Samantha sent her a series of disturbing text messages about her husband, Kirk, late Sunday.
One text said:
Kirk has lost his mind Kristin. He’s literally losing it. He’s been harassing me for the last 6 hours and I’ve asked him repeatedly to just leave me alone because I’m sick.
The 33-year-old apparently threw her ring outside, according to a text around 11:50 p.m.
Around midnight, police say, she was shot to death by her husband.
Kellin told the Times that Samantha was an amazing mother and friend:
“This is horrible.”
During a news conference on Monday, Nocco expressed his anguish following the tragedy, according to WKMG.
“Unfortunately, last night, one of our deputies was involved in a tragic event where he took his wife’s life and then his own. I cannot begin to express how disheartened I am.
Domestic Violence has no place in our society. […] This is something that is impossible to comprehend for even the most seasoned person.”
The children in the home were uninjured. The investigation is ongoing.