Miami-Dade Police said the man they have arrested for two murders told them he “heard voices” that “told him to do it" and he believed one of the victims was the devil based on movies he'd watched.
Police arrested arrested 21-year-old Ronnie Candelaria on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery for the shooting deaths of a mother and son in Southwest Miami-Dade County Thursday.
Following his arrest, Candelaria told detectives he believed the son was the devil after watching "The Punisher," "The Punisher: War Zone," "Little Nicky" and the TV show "Breaking Bad," according to an arrest affidavit.
“Oh my god, it’s terrible,” said neighbor Lucie Borges. “I’ve seen the police car there, but I don’t what it was all about.”
The shooting happened inside a home in the area of Southwest 143rd Avenue and Southwest 96th Street. Police responded after receiving multiple 911 calls of shots fired in the area around 4 a.m. The victims were identified as 62-year-old Gale Sikora and her son 24-year-old Anthony Sikora.
Police said the scene was bloody and that the shooter used a gun to blast through a glass door after failing to shoot through the front door. MDPD Detective Alvaro Zabaletz said Candelabria isn’t related to the victims.
Neighbors said they heard screams and then gunshots in the neighborhood shortly before police arrived.
"It sounded like bah, bah, bah, bah," said neighbor Yolanda Burgess. "Not only one, it was many when I listened."
It was estimated that roughly 100 shots were fired and that the shooter had a shotgun and a rifle. Police said they impounded an AK-74 that belonged to Candelaria and a Glock handgun.
Baptist Hospital, where Gale Sikora worked as a nurse, released the following statement:
"Our hearts go out to Gale's family and colleagues. She was a wonderful employee and we are very saddened by this tragedy."
Police said Candelaria and Antony knew each other and got into an argument. The suspect’s neighbors said there may be a bigger issue here and said Candelaria may have had psychological problems.
“I just want this to stop, whatever, if this was a disturbed young man that did this or whatever, we need to get some help for people who are really struggling,” said neighbor Gussie Flynn.
The Candelaria family released a statement through their lawyer Friday, expressing their sympathy for the Sikora family and saying Candelaria had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
"The Candelaria’s son Ronnie had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. His condition was effectively managed through medication and they are at a loss to understand why his condition so tragically deteriorated," the statement read in part. "Ronnie lawfully acquired firearms before he was diagnosed and had always exercised care and responsibility in the handling of firearms."