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Arrest made in connection with Winter Haven triple shooting | Crime

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Arrest made in connection with Winter Haven triple shooting
Arrest made in connection with Winter Haven triple shooting

Winter Haven, Florida - Winter Haven Police Chief Gary Hester says a 6-year-old girl hid under a coffee table while her own father shot and killed two men and wounded another in their home.

"Coldblooded, heartless killer" is how Chief Hester describes 32-year-old Joshua Davis. Davis is charged with two counts of first degree murder, one count of attempted first degree murder and one count of child abuse.

Police say Davis confessed to shooting Estaban Zavala and shooting and killing 19-year-old Christian Rodriguez and 19-year-old Joe Santos Palacios at his home on Lake Howard Drive East on Tuesday night. All three victims are students at Polk State College.

Davis told police that early Tuesday, plans were made for Zavala, Rodriguez and Palacios to go to Davis' apartment. He says they all knew each other from their jobs at McDonalds. While at his apartment, he says one of the men stayed with his 7-year-old daughter while the others went outside to smoke marijuana.

After going back inside, at some point, Davis says he got a "dark feeling" so he went to his room and got a handgun. When he was making his way back down the hallway, police say he started shooting. 

Davis says Rodriguez and Palacios were wounded and tried to get away by hiding behind furniture. He then allegedly shot and killed them both within close range.

Davis told police there was then a struggle with Zavala for the gun. Davis ran out of ammo, so he went in the kitchen to get a knife and Zavala was able to get away. Davis says he then shut and locked the door and turned his attention to his 6-year-old daughter.

She is now with family members. Police say during the shooting, the child's mother was at work.

Zavala is reported to be in stable condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Detectives say Davis told them on a daily basis he plays the online video game "Battlefield 3" and that he is a "marksman" and often does target practice with his gun.

Detectives say he is not at all remorseful about his actions.

Winter Haven police and Polk County deputies are continuing to investigate.


Winter Haven, Florida - Winter Haven police have a man under arrest in connection to a triple shooting Tuesday night in Winter Haven.

Police took the man in for questioning after two people were found dead inside a home in the area of Central Ave. and Seventh St. SW.

A third man was taken to the hospital, where he later died. Police say he was pistol whipped and shot in the head.

Police say the young daughter of the man in custody witnessed the shootings.


WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- According to the Winter Haven Police Department, two people were killed and one person is in critical condition after a triple shooting in the area of Central Ave. and Seventh St. SW in Winter Haven.

An officer responded to the area after a 911 call Tuesday evening from someone who said they heard shots fired. The officer says as he drove up to the area he saw a man staggering in the street who collapsed. That man was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

When more officers responded to the area they found two bodies inside a home that has been converted into a small apartment building.

Investigators say it looked as if there had been some type of struggle inside one of the units and they could tell that weapons had been fired.

Police have a person of interest is in custody and is being questioned. They say they are confident there is not an armed shooter on the loose.


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