4 Fatally Shot, Including Priest and Suspect

(StraightNews.org) – Four people died, including a Catholic priest, after a gunman went on a shooting rampage in Florida. Responding to a domestic disturbance call in Palm Bay, police officers were confronted by the gunman who fired at them before being killed.

Palm Bay Police Chief Mariano Augello said his officers located a body inside the home and a further two bodies at a separate address, identified as the Rev. Robert “Bob” Hoeffner and his sister, Sally Hoeffner. The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Brandon Kapas.

Details of the incident were explained during a press conference on January 29. Police responded to a call at 2.07 in the afternoon the previous day and arrived at the address 12 minutes later. The suspect’s uncle met them there and warned that his nephew was inside and armed, but Kapas quickly appeared and charged toward the officers, who used tasers to subdue him, but to no effect.

Following a physical brawl with one police officer, Kapas “broke free” and attempted to flee but was shot dead by another officer. The suspect’s grandfather was found dead at the scene, and police discovered an “arsenal of weapons” inside Mr. Kapas’s car. Police say they believe Kapas intended to kill more people.

“What I can tell you is that our officers’ actions yesterday prevented something even more tragic and devastating from happening,” Chief Augello said.

Detectives are trying to establish a motive for the killings and say they are looking into the nature of the relationship between Kapas and the priest and his sister.

Robert Hoeffner retired from the St. Joseph Catholic Community in 2016 and celebrated his 50th year of service last April. Ordained in 1973, the New York native moved to Florida as a child. Police believe the car Kapas was driving was stolen from Father Hoeffner.

Kapas was arrested for driving under the influence last December, and in August 2019, police also charged him with drunk driving and resisting arrest.

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