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Police kill suspect accused of shooting mother, 3 kids dead in Polk County apartment

By WESH Staff

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    LAKE WALES, Florida (WESH) — Police located the suspect they believe shot and killed a mother and her three children at a Lake Wales apartment complex on Tuesday night.

Suspect Al Joseph Stenson, 38, was found at a motel in Sanford Wednesday morning by Sanford police and Seminole deputies. After an hours-long standoff, police say a law enforcement officer shot him and he died.

In a news conference early Wednesday, police said they responded to a medical call at the Sunrise Apartments on Dawnlight Drive just before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

When officers arrived on the scene, they said they found Stenson’s girlfriend and her three children, two adults and one juvenile, dead from apparent gunshot wounds. The victims’ ages are 40, 21, 17 and 11, according to police.

Detectives say Stenson is believed to have killed all four victims around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Detectives had obtained an arrest warrant for Stenson on four counts of first-degree murder.

The motive for the murders is unknown, but Stenson knew the victims.

The names of the victims will not be released due to Marsy’s Law, officials said.

“We’re at the scene of a horrific murder where four people are dead,” Lake Wales Police Chief Chris Velasquez said. “It is absolutely a tragedy what we’ve dealt with and experienced tonight, and what a number of families have experienced as well.”

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