MIAMI LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - A father posted a picture on social media of him and his two children, and detectives said, that same dad killed his kids and then turned the gun on himself not long after.
7News cameras captured police officers at the residential community, located along the 6400 block of Miami Lakes Drive in Miami Lakes, near a Publix supermarket, just before 9:30 p.m., Tuesday.
Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene by the lake just behind the community.
Investigators said a man shot and killed his 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son before he turned the gun on himself.
The father has since been identified as 41-year-old Humberto Tovar. The children have been identified as Valeria Tovar, 12, and Matias Tovar, 9.
Authorities said the children’s mother and father were divorced.
Humberto is said to have picked up the kids earlier in the day, and when their mother didn’t hear from the children later, she managed to track them down and made the heartbreaking discovery by the lake.
Nearby resident Magda Pena and her son were seen on Ring video running out of their home to help after hearing the mother’s screams and cries for help.
“I just opened the door, and I ran,” said Pena. “My son ran behind me. He didn’t even have shoes. I ran across the grass, and when I got there I saw the lady like on top of the little boy. I couldn’t see the dad or the daughter because of the darkness, at first.”
She tried to perform CPR on Matias, but it was too late.
“She had pulled the little girl’s body over towards her, like towards the boy, and she was trying to do both at the same time,” Pena said. “She was like, ‘Please, don’t stop. They’re alive. They’re alive,’ but they were already all dead.”
Pena said she then saw the gun next to the father’s body.
“I was in shock for a good hour,” she said. “I think I cried for like an hour, and I was just shaking, and I came inside the house. I think I was up ’till like 3 o’clock in the morning because I was there looking at everything and wondering how this happened because this has never happened here.”
A picture sent in by a 7News viewer captured police cruisers parked near the lake. Investigators were seen looking underneath a tarp near the water.
A Publix shopper said he walked out of the grocery store to find several police cars near the parking lot. He said he started asking around and was told some children had been killed, apparently by their father.
“It’s really sad. How can somebody do that to their own children?” said Cardinal Nforgwei, who heard the screams nearby. “I don’t know what world we live in today that would drive someone to do something like that.”
The witness said he saw a woman believed to be the children’s mother being walked away from the scene and comforted.
“The lady came screaming across the street, and apparently, that was the mother,” he said. “While I was standing, another gentleman approached us and he was like, ‘What happened?’ and I was like, ‘I’m hearing from this lady that a gentleman killed himself and his two children.’ The guy was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ and put his hand on his head like, ‘That’s my niece.'”
The director of Miami-Dade Police released a tweet in response to the incident.
On Wednesday someone left flowers at the site of the double murder-suicide, and classmates of the victims drew pictures and honored their memory at school.
It remains unknown whether there have been domestic calls involving this family prior to the shooting.
7News contacted the family of the father, but they said they did not want to say anything publicly.
The incident remains under investigation.
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