After shooting and killing his wife and her son, Charlie Davis found his stepdaughter hiding in a closet — but spared her life.
Then Davis, 41, put the gun to his head shortly before 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and killed himself.
“He said he wasn’t going to kill her because he loved her,” said a shaken Jeffrey Eskridge Sr., whose son was killed by Davis.
The carnage early Tuesday in the quiet Northwest Miami-Dade neighborhood of Lakes of Acadia, near Sun Life Stadium, shook neighbors, friends and relatives. Dozens at the scene paced back and forth, comforting each other with hugs.
Davis’ rampage ended the lives of his wife, Valrie Davis, 44, a Miami Gardens insurance agent, and her son Jeffrey Eskridge Jr., a 20-year-old Carol City High School graduate who friends say was studying to become a truck driver.
The stepdaughter, 16-year-old Tyria Pool, saw her mother lying on the floor near a door. Then, she saw Davis put the gun in his mouth.
Family and friends said the killings were the result of a broken marriage. Eskridge Sr. said Davis moved out of the home on Thursday, but returned Monday night after talking his wife into going out to dinner.
Eskridge Sr. said Tyria had called him about the shootings.
“Every time I came around he was friendly. There was no indication,” he said.
The troubled marriage between Valrie and Charles Davis was her third.
Miami-Dade County police cars and vans lined the street in front of the home at 5564 NW 193rd Ln. Nearly six hours later, the Miami-Dade County medical examiner’s office removed the bodies.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show Davis had a criminal background. At age 15, he was arrested on burglary charges. A year later, in 1989, he was charged with auto theft.
In 1991, he was convicted of willful homicide, and sent to prison for 15 years. Police and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office did not have details on the case.
On Tuesday morning, stunned family and friends gathered behind yellow police tape in the working class community of small single-family homes with tree-lined streets and well-kept lawns.
One family who just came back from vacation watched in stunned silence. Another man shook his head. “What can be so bad?” he wondered.
Miami-Dade detective Alvaro Zabaleta said someone called 911 saying “There’s a man with a gun.”
Police arrived and could clearly see three bodies through a sliding glass door.
A distraught young man at the scene said he heard shooting in the early morning and ran over to the house. The young man, who said his name was Nathaniel, said he was Jeffrey Eskridge Jr.’s best friend.
He said he saw Davis leaving and confronted him. Davis ran back inside, said Nathaniel.
“If I had come just 20 minutes earlier I probably would have stopped it,” he said.