The man who led a deadly six-hour SWAT standoff at a Deerfield Beach RV park shot an elderly stranger before bursting into the home and stabbing his own wife, two sons and himself, authorities said Friday.
According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, 41-year-old William De Jesus, from Port Orange, drove his red Ford Mustang into the Highland Woods RV park at 900 Northeast 48th Street around 6:20 p.m.
With De Jesus were his 37-year-old wife, Deanna, and sons Samson, 7, and Jeshiah, 9, the BSO said.
De Jesus approached the 35-foot motor home occupied by Quebec natives 76-year-old Oliva Plante and girlfriend Pierrette Beauchemin, also in her 70s, the BSO said.
Plante approached De Jesus, who started yelling. When Plante pushed De Jesus away, De Jesus pulled out a revolver and shot Plante in the chest, authorities said.
As Plante lay on the ground, De Jesus approached him and "executed him with another gunshot to the head," the BSO said.
De Jesus then led his family into the RV, which was still occupied by Beauchemin, who was able to escape the RV unharmed when deputies arrived.
Authorities say they communicated with De Jesus by phone early on, trying to get him to surrender peacefully, but communications stopped.
The standoff lasted about six hours, and by the time SWAT officer entered the RV, around 12:30 a.m., De Jesus and son Jeshiah were dead and Deanna and Samson badly wounded, the BSO said.
Detectives say De Jesus stabbed his sons with a knife from the RV's kitchen before stabbing his wife and himself.
Deanna and Samson were rushed to nearby hospitals, where they remained in serious condition Friday.
"This was such a devastating outcome, with a little boy found dead, a woman critically injured and another little boy critically injured," BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella said. "It was very difficult for everybody here."
The BSO said it appears De Jesus and Plante didn't know each other, and authorities didn't say what the De Jesus family was doing in the area.
BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal said "there doesn't seem to be any motive at all."
"We talk about senseless crimes, and this looks like one of those senseless crimes. We don’t see any connection between the suspect and the victims. We just don’t know why it happened," he said.
Witness Jim Hanan said he and his wife pulled into the RV park an hour before it happened.
“When I got up to the guy he was gasping for breath. I mean, he was alive, but he was shot,” he said.
His wife, Mary Hanan, questioned why police did not move in sooner.
“It saddens to me to think that these two little kids were in that house, and they didn’t barge in right away and maybe possibly save these kids," she said. "It took them hours."
“He murdered his own son. Whether the SWAT team could have prevented that, I don’t know," Leljedal responded. "But what drives a man to murder his own son?”