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Grandfather kills daughter, 6 grandchildren, himself

Don Spirit, a 51-year-old Florida resident shot his daughter, six grandchildren, and himself in Bell, Florida Thursday.

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This undated image provided by the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, shows Don Spirit.

Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office/AP

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A 51-year-old Florida man shot dead his daughter and six grandchildren in his home before killing himself on Thursday, authorities said.

Don Spirit, identified by authorities as the suspect, called 911 and killed himself after a sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene, Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz said.

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Everyone in the house was killed, Schultz said. The eldest of the children was 10, he said.

"We're all family here. What can you say?" Schultz said.

The incident occurred near Bell, a town of about 500 located roughly 35 miles west of Gainesville.

Schultz declined to give the name of the dead woman.

Spirit, a New Jersey native, had an extensive criminal history, public records show, including convictions for possession of illegal weapons, battery and depriving a child of food and shelter.

In 2001, Spirit shot his 8-year-old son to death in what was determined to be a hunting accident, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported.

He pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in connection with the case and was sentenced in a plea deal to three years in prison, the paper reported in 2003.


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