There weren't many details available Friday about the Deerfield Park RV-park standoff that left three dead and two critically injured, but as police discover more, the story gets stranger and stranger.
The incident appears to have started Thursday evening, when 41-year-old Volusia County man William De Jesus drove his wife and two young sons to the Highland Woods RV Park. He drove straight to a specific motor home; when the 76-year-old Canadian man living there came outside, De Jesus started yelling, and after the man shoved him away, De Jesus pulled out a revolver and shot him in the chest. When the man fell to the ground, De Jesus walked up and shot him again, in the head.
He then pushed his family into the Canadian man's motor home, where they discovered the man's 70-something girlfriend.
About an hour later, the girlfriend managed to escape and tell sheriff's deputies what was happening inside. De Jesus spoke by telephone to authorities "early on in the ordeal," according to a police news release, but then cut communication as the standoff went into the night.
About 12:30 Friday morning, a SWAT team broke into the RV and discovered that De Jesus had stabbed everyone inside with a knife from the camper's kitchen: His 9-year-old son, Jeshiah, was dead; his wife, Deanna, and 7-year-old son were critically wounded. De Jesus had also stabbed himself to death.
Deanna De Jesus' mother told the Sentinel she wasn't surprised. She said she hadn't seen her daughter in three years.
"I knew one day he was either going to kill her or kill the children and himself," she said. "He's an evil man. He was so cruel and so abusive to my daughter, but she kept going back to him. She would call and ask us to help get her away from him, but she always went back."
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
reported that De Jesus was arrested in 2007
after his wife told police he choked her and said he'd kill her and their family if she ever tried to leave. Charges were dropped the day of his trial.
Leljedal said De Jesus' surviving family members are expected to make a full recovery.