TEQUESTA, Fla. (WSVN) – The 911 call made by the mother of the suspected murderer of a Tequesta couple was released Wednesday. While the suspect and the neighbor who attempted to help his neighbors recover in the hospital, the son of one of the victims spoke with 7News.
She made the call Monday after the suspect, 19-year-old Austin Harrouff, stormed out of dinner with her and his father. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said, Tuesday, that Harrouff, a student at Florida State University, later brutally beat and stabbed a married couple to death at their home located along Southeast Kokomo Lane, Monday, at around 9:20 p.m.
Police said the attack that killed 59-year-old John Stevens and 53-year-old Michelle Mishcon Stevens and left a neighbor who tried to help injured, was random.
The good Samaritan has since been released from a hospital in West Palm Beach, Thursday afternoon and is recovering among family members. Harrouff is still hospitalized in stable condition.
John Stevens’s son spoke with 7News about the tragic loss of his father, who he said was looking forward to begin his retirement. “That was always his dream, and so he worked his entire life to get there, so this is really the prime of his life,” said John Stevens, Jr. “He couldn’t have been a happier or more kind guy.”
Stevens said his father worked his whole life to get to where he was in life.
In her 911 call, Harrouff’s mother said her son was exhibiting unusual behavior. “He was with his sister,” she said on the recording, “and he says, you know, he feels immortal and like a superhero, so I don’t know what’s going on with him.”
The dispatcher then asked, “Do you know if he’s been taking any drugs or anything like that?”
“Nothing … I’ve asked, and nothing recent.”
Furniture was still being removed from the couple’s home, Wednesday, as police continued to investigate the brutal attack. Mourners left flowers on a car outside the home.
In a recently posted YouTube videos, Harrouff spoke about avoiding steroids. “I don’t need drugs. I know that they can change me,” he said in one clip.
“I don’t feel like it’d be beneficial for me to do steroids, you know? It just wouldn’t,” he said in another video.
No one could have predicted that Harrouff would be implicated in the random killings of a husband and wife. “This isn’t just a privileged white kid who’s gonna get it taken easy on him because he has no priors,” Stevens said. “He committed double homicide and tried to kill somebody else.”
A preliminary drug test at the hospital found no trace of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin or other common drugs in Harrouff’s system. The drug results have been sent to the FBI for a closer look. A test for more rare hallucinogenic drugs, like flakka or bath salts, will take longer to yield results.
In a press conference, Tuesday afternoon, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told reporters that Harrouff may have been on hallucinogenic drugs when he attacked the couple. “In this case, we can’t establish a motive. There’s just, I don’t know,” Snyder said. “We just don’t know what’s going on his mind.”
Jim McNamara, a friend of the victims, said drug use is the only explanation. “It has to have something to do with drugs,” he said. “There’s no way that you could be Tased three times, and a dog get on you, and five sheriffs to get you off. It’s like, it’s impossible.”
The couple was seemingly loved by everyone and unfortunately became victims of a tragic death days before they were expected to meet their 3-month-old granddaughter for the first time.
A memorial service is scheduled for John and Michelle Stevens on Friday in a Fort Lauderdale theater to accommodate a large crowd.
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