Florida Police Kill Suspect in Murder of Mother, 3 Children

Florida police on Wednesday shot to death a man wanted for killing a Lake Wales mother and her three children a day earlier.

Al Stenson, 38, was located at the Slumberland Motel in Sanford, north of Orlando, the Lake Wales Police Department said.

Investigators say Stenson, described as the woman’s boyfriend, shot the woman, her 20-year-old son, and 17- and 11-year-old daughters early Tuesday morning, but police weren’t called to the scene in Lake Wales until early Tuesday evening, after family members discovered the bodies, WTVT reported.

The victims’ are not being released because of Florida law that prohibits the release of crime victim names by police.

Lake Wales detectives worked with the Sanford Police Department and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to track Stenson, finally spotting his vehicle parked across the street from the motel, where his brother was staying, according to Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma.

Lemma said officers made contact with Stenson via cell phone and that he made statements indicating he planned to kill himself or force police to kill him.

Negotiators convinced him to leave the motel room — next door to his brother’s room — at one point, Lemma said. Negotiations continued for hours until they finally convinced him to put his gun on the ground. As he stepped away from the gun, officers deployed a 40mm baton, a non-lethal projectile not intended to cause death or serious harm.

It had little effect on Stenson, Lemma said, and he immediately when for the gun on the ground. Lemma said he wasn’t clear on whether the suspect picked up the weapon, but as he reached for it, three SWAT officers and a Sanford Police officer opened fire, killing him.

Neighbors told WTVT the mother was a teacher at a local elementary school where the 11-year-old was a student. The 17-year-old was a high school senior preparing to graduate, they said.

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[Featured image: Al Stenson/Lake Wales Police Department]