A Florida man armed with an weapon that had once been banned under federal law forced his wife to watch as he strangled one of his sons and then shot a second before turning a gun on himself.
Victoria Flores Zavala told Boynton Beach police that 45-year-old Isidro Zavala went to her home on Saturday with a plan to kill her and their two boys because she had filed for divorce last year, according to WTVJ. But Isidro Zavala decide to spare his wife at the last minute so she could suffer while watching him murder 12-year-old Eduardo Zavala and 11-year-old Mario Zavala.
“What Mrs. Zavala had to go through — watch her children killed before her — is probably the most horrific thing you could ever imagine, at least for me,” Boynton Beach Police Chief G. Matthew Immler explained at a press conference.
“She tried fighting him off and begged him to kill her and not the children,” he explained. “He told her she was going to stay alive and suffer the loss of them.”
The Palm Beach Post reported on Sunday that Isidro Zavala had killed himself with .38-caliber pistol, but police also recovered a bag with a TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun, extra ammunition, duct tape and cutting shears from the crime scene.
The TEC-9 was among 19 weapons that were banned under the now-expired Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994.
Mariano Batalla, a friend and neighbor of the suspect, said that Isidro Zavala had recently joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and did not seem like the kind of person who could kill someone.
“He never mentioned to me anything about a gun, he never carried a gun,” Batalla told the paper. “He never showed that he was depressed, but in his mind, I guess he was planning it all.”
Watch this video from WPTV, broadcast Feb. 3, 2013.