A husband and wife and her teenage daughter are dead after an argument following their 3-year-old’s birthday party turned violent at their Lakewood Ranch home late Sunday.
Just after 10 p.m. Sunday, the husband’s 71-year-old mother heard him and his wife of four years arguing followed by several gunshots from the room the couple was in at a home in the 11000 block of Griffith Terrace, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
The woman went into the room and found her daughter-in-law, Silvana “Silvi” Bennett, 35, dead from a gunshot wound, according to the sheriff’s office. Her son, James “Jim” Bennett, was also dead form a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“She grabbed the (soon-to-be) 3-year-old and ran outside the home and called 911,” sheriff’s office spokesman Randy Warren said.
James and Silvana Bennett were pronounced dead at the scene.
The family had been celebrating the toddler’s birthday earlier on Sunday and when the couple got into a heated argument in their bedroom, he pulled a gun on her and shot her dead, according to Warren. He then went into another bedroom and shot his stepdaughter.
James Bennett then took his own life, Warren said.
Silvana Bennett’s daughter, 16-year-old Andrea Barberena-Rojas, was alive when paramedics arrived at the family’s home. Despite their lifesaving measures, the teen also died.
Barberena-Rojas was a sophomore at Lakewood Ranch High School, according to district records, said School District of Manatee County spokesman Mike Barber.
The grandmother and toddler, who will turn 3 on Wednesday, were not injured, according to the sheriff’s office.