Investigators said on Wednesday that a 45-year-old Hardee County official shot his wife to death and then turned the gun on himself with their 10-year-old daughter listening in the next room.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that it received a call from a man at around 2 p.m., according to The Orlando Sentinel. The dispatcher said that the man put down the phone, and then gunshots were heard on the line.
Deputies responding to 6250 Cornerstone Drive found a 10-year-old girl “obviously crying and extremely upset.” The girl explained that she had tried to get into the bedroom after hearing the gunfire, but the door was locked.
The Ledger reported that officers kicked in the door, and found Denny and his 41-year-old wife, Jenny, dead on the floor.
The case is being investigated as a murder-suicide.
Denny had been serving as Hardee County’s director of planning and zoning since Aug. 2, 2010. There had been no reports of domestic violence at the home, and Denny had no criminal record.
Denny was also serving his fourth year as vice president of the Parent Teacher Association at his daughter’s school.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Sheriff Grady Judd called Denny “a hard worker,” and a “very stable guy.”
The 10-year-old girl was in the custody of Florida Department of Children and Families until should she could be placed with her grandparents.
“Her life will never ever be the same,” Judd pointed out. “Those memories won’t go away.”
Watch the video below from WTSP, broadcast Sept. 11, 2014.
[Handgun and bullets via Shutterstock.com]