In a chilling echo of the horror attack by New Zealander Rowan Baxter who killed Hannah Clarke and her three children in Brisbane — a man has shot his wife and two sons dead before killing himself.
US border protection agent Ezequiel Almodovar, 39, shot his wife Marielis Soto, 38, and their sons, 16-year-old Ezequiel "Zeke" Almodovar and 12-year-old Gabriel Almodovar after posting a gushing message on his Facebook page about their family trip to Disney World.
Police officers responded to a residence in Orlando, Florida, around 3pm on Thursday after the agent's colleagues expressed concern when he failed to show up for work, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference, the Herald Sun reports.
The family members hadn't been seen since last week, so officers entered the home to perform a welfare check and found the four family members dead from gunshot wounds.
Police determined in "preliminary investigations" the dad shot the two boys and the woman before taking his own life.
Almodovar had posted a happy family snap from Disney World just hours before murdering his wife and sons on February 18.
He said he was "feeling thankful" to be with his Marielis, Ezequiel jnr and Gabriel at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
"Family time. We needed this. No school, no work, no adult bull**** just family time and enjoying life through eyes of kids. Love you baby," Almodovar wrote.
On Valentine's Day, he posted a collage of photos with his wife, captioning it, "Happy Valentine's Day to my forever valentine!!!!!! Today is a day of love but three's not enough days for me to show you how much I love you and how much you mean to me today and everyday!!!! You've always been there for me and I hope I can continue to show you the love you deserve mi amour. te amooooo forever and ever!!!!! [sic]"
He signed off with 49 heart emojis.
Almodovar's sister posted on Facebook saying that her brother loved his family, and urged strangers not to make negative comments.
"He is the best man and father I have ever known and I wish I could have told him that so he knew how much he was loved and looked up too [sic]," she wrote.
"'I don't understand WHY?," she added, paying tribute to her sister-in-law and nephews.
Intimate partner violence accounts for 15 per cent of all violent crime in the US and gun-related domestic killings increased by 26 per cent in the US from 2010 to 2017.
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