LAND O' LAKES, Fla. – An impassioned Sheriff Chris Nocco spoke Thursday about what he called a mental health crisis in the county and country after a mother and her two children were found dead in a murder-suicide.
What You Need To Know
- Mother took lives of 3-year-old and 9-month-olds sons, then killed herself, Sheriff Chris Nocco says
- Their names haven't been released as investigation continues
- Sheriff Nocco said 80 percent of the calls his office respond to have a mental health component
- "We are the tip of the spear addressing mental health," he said of law enforcement
The Sheriff's Office responded just before 6 p.m. Wednesday to the Lake Padgett area of Land O' Lakes where they located three deceased individuals.
At a news conference Thursday, Nocco said a mother killed her 3-year-old son and 9-month-old son with a gun before taking her own life with the weapon.
Nocco said there was no public safety issue, describing the incident as "horrific but isolated."
"This is a tragedy," he said.
The names of the mother and children weren't released. Authorities said the father of the children, who lives at the home, called 911 after entering the home and seeing what happened.
Nocco said his office had never interacted with the family before Wednesday night's incident, and there was no history of previous issues there.
After Nocco provided his update, he said that about 80 percent of the calls his office respond to have some sort of mental health component.
"We are the tip of the spear addressing mental health," Nocco said. "We've got to speak louder and louder and louder that we are in a mental health crisis. We are in the heart of this crisis," he said.
Nocco said counseling will be provided for all members of his department who investigated the incident.
"We're not robots. We have children of our own. You go into that scene, it impacts you," Nocco said. "We need to realize this crisis is going away, and our children are suffering."
The investigation is ongoing. Nocco said his office will offer services to the family through victim advocates.