Two adults and six children killed in 'horrific' Florida mass shooting

Authorities in Gilchrist County, Florida are investigating an apparent mass shooting and suicide that left six children and two adults dead, the Gilchrist County Journal reported on Facebook.

This story has been updated. Please see below.

The suspect, identified as 51-year-old Don Spirit, allegedly killed his daughter and six grandchildren before taking his own life as a local sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene.

The shooting, which the Journal described as "horrific," reportedly took place in a residence in Bell, a small town an hour west of Gainesville, home of the University of Florida.

WFTV-TV reported on Twitter that Spirit had been in jail before, a reference to his prior felony convictions, including a three-year prison term for illegally possessing a firearm when he accidentally shot and killed his 8-year-old son in 2001.

WFTV also posted a mugshot of Spirit, which can be seen below.

Update, 9:04 p.m. EST: USA Today reported that Spirit contacted sheriff's officials saying he planned to harm himself and others at the home he shared with his family. But the victims were dead by the time authorities arrived.

"There are certain things in life you can explain; there are certain things you can't," Sheriff Robert Schultz was quoted as saying. "This is one of those things that I can't explain."

Schultz said the grandchildren ranged in age from 3 months to 10 years old.

Update, 10:39 p.m. EST: WLTV-TV reported that Spirit's daughter was identified as 28-year-old Sarah Spirit.

This post will be updated.