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Family of Three Shot To Death In Perry, FL- Update

Updated 6:24p.m. 4-20

Investigators say they now believe they know who pulled the trigger in the shooting that left three family members dead in a Taylor County home.

The preliminary report indicates the father shot and killed his son and wife before turning the gun on himself.

The autopsies of the three Leavins Family members were Monday, indicating that the tragedy in Taylor County was in fact a murder-suicide.

Those who knew the family at 3989 Woods Creek Road in Taylor County were shocked when deputies found three bodies inside the home around 5:00 Sunday afternoon.

Neighbor and friend Robert Parker said, "Something like this can't help but bother you."

They were even more shocked now that authorities have released autopsy results.

Authorities say the preliminary investigation indicates 63-year-old Robert Jerry Leavins, Sr. shot his 62-year-old wife, Shirley, their 45-year-old son Robert Leavins, Jr, then shot himself.

Neighbor and friend Lawrence Coleman said, "He was depressed and he was hurt. In the last six months, he'd gotten a lot worse. He got to where his back was hurting. But, anything you needed, he was there."

Brittany Beach played soccer with Robert Jr.

He was supposed to be in the practice the day before the Special Olympics in Taylor County.

Beach read a letter that she wrote to her teammates: "He was taken too soon from us. I hope that he knows how much we loved him and how many people he touched. I wish that I had one more day with him. He was a funny man to be around."

Beach listed ten things she loved about Robert Leavins, Jr. Her top three were that he was smart, funny, and cool.

Players and coaches consoled each other as they realized they'll never have their laughs and kicks with the funny man they once played with.

Leavins' teammates will bring along a picture of him Wednesday morning so that he'll be with them during the Special Olympics Torch Run.

Authorities have not released any information as to why the tragedy happened. But, those who knew Robert Jerry Leavins, Sr. say it was not like him at all.

Robert Leavins, Jr. was a student in the special needs class at Taylor Technical Institute.

This is the second death at the school in within one week.

An employee, 49-year-old Susie Cruce Brown, died in a boating accident on the Sante Fe River on Sunday, April 11th.

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Updated 10:30a.m 4-20

FDLE Press Release:

Taylor County Sheriff’s Office and FDLE Investigating Family’s Death:

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) are investigating a shooting that occurred Sunday at 3989 Woods Creek Road in Perry, Fla. and left three family members dead.

TCSO deputies responded to the home at 5 p.m. after receiving a 911 call. Upon arriving, deputies found Robert Jerry Leavins Sr., 63, his wife, Shirley Foxworth Leavins, 62, and their son, Robert Jerry Leavins Jr., 45, with fatal gun shot wounds. FDLE’s Tallahassee Regional Operations Center was contacted to provide investigative and forensic assistance.

Autopsies were performed yesterday. Preliminary investigation indicates Robert Jerry Leavins Sr. shot his wife and son before shooting himself.

For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Chernosky or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Or
Captain Ron Rice
Taylor County Sheriff’s Office
(850) 838-3505
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Updated 6:15p.m. 4-19

Investigators in Taylor County are trying to figure out how and why a couple and their 45-year-old son were shot and killed this weekend.

Folks living off of Woods Creek Road in Taylor County say they are shocked. They describe the three people who were found dead as the greatest people you'll ever meet.

Authorities say all three family members were shot, but they're still looking for answers.

Taylor County resident Robert Parker looks across the street, and his longtime friend is no longer there.

But, crime tape is.

Parker said, "He was a real good man. You just don't get a better neighbor than he was. I'm definitely going to miss him."

Deputies say they found three people dead inside of 3989 Woods Creek Road around 5:00 Sunday afternoon.

Parker says it was his good neighbor Jerry Leavins, Leavins' wife, Shirley, and the couple's 45-year-old son Robert Leavins.

Eddie Dorman says he was very close to Robert. He said, "This does hurt. To know Robert, he didn't have enemies. He was always willing to do everything with you. So, this is really going to cut deep to a lot of people."

Authorities say they are investigating who did the shooting. But, neighbors say no matter what happened in the home, it shouldn't have happened to these three people.

Neighbor Lawrence Coleman said, "We were never so shocked in all our life to find out that all three of them are gone. We were hurt; still are hurting and going to hurt for a long time."

Parker says the couple's daughter and son-in-law went to the Leavins home to check on them after they didn't show up to church Sunday morning.

Authorities are still investigating. They do say there is no reason for public safety concerns.

We will have updates as they become available.

We're told visitation for all three victims is Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and their funeral is Friday at 11 a.m. Both will be held at First Assembly of God Church in Perry.

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Updated 8:45a.m 4-19

Authorities in Perry Florida are investigating a shooting that left three people dead.

The Taylor County Sheriff's office responded to a home at 3989 Woods Creek Road at about 5p.m Sunday.

They say a married couple and their 45-year old son were found with fatal gun shot wounds in their home.

Officials are not releasing the identities of the victims at this time and say "there's no need for public concern".

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is assisting in the investigation.

We'll bring you more details as they become available.
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Updated 7:20a.m 4-19

There are no new details available at this time.

We will have more information as soon as it becomes available.
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Perry's police chief confirms there has been an incident in Perry, Florida at a house on Woods Creek Road.

At this point, we don't know what's happened but a house has been taped off.

The State Attorney's office is at the scene, according to Perry's police chief.

Officials from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are on their way.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.


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