Officials: Coast Guard Serviceman Kills Wife, Son Before Taking Own Life in Miami

December 17, 2018 Updated: December 17, 2018

A U.S. Coast Guard serviceman killed his wife, one of his children, and then turned the gun on himself, according to reports. His 8-year-old daughter is fighting for her life in a hospital after she was shot, reports say.

John Stanley Presnar, an electronics technician First Class who worked from the Coast Guard base in Miami Beach, was identified as the shooter, reported the Miami Herald. He served since 2001, Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Kelley said.

His wife was identified as 39-year-old Gretchen Presnar, and his children haven’t yet been identified.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said he and his wife got into an argument before he opened fire, ABC News reported. His mother-in-law saw part of the incident before running out of the house when he pulled a gun.

“According to investigators, [Presnar] and his wife were involved in a domestic dispute that escalated into a shooting,” police said. “When [Presnar] started shooting, his wife told her mother to run out of the house and call for help.”

The incident took place in Miami at 12:41 a.m. on Dec. 16, said police. After he shot his wife, Presnar turned the gun on his children before shooting himself.

“When the subject started shooting, his wife told her mother to run out of the house and call for help,” police told the Herald. “Once uniformed officers arrived, they entered the home and discovered the wife and their 7-year-old son deceased from apparent gunfire. The subject was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. ”

lane in miami dade shooting
The shooting occurred on the 11400 block of Southwest 242nd Lane in Southwest Miami-Dade. (Google Street View)

The Coast Guard said it extends its condolences to the family.

“The Coast Guard is deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family members of those who were killed,” Kelley told the Herald. “We continue to pray for and offer the full support of the Coast Guard to the young child fighting for her life.”

The shooting occurred on the 11400 block of Southwest 242nd Lane in Southwest Miami-Dade. Other details are not clear.

Police have not released further details about the incident. The woman’s condition is not known.

Violent Crime Down?

The FBI said that both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017 compared to 2016. Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to last year, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September, releasing data from the previous year.

“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to UCR nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the FBI said in its report.

“The report also showed there were more than 7.7 million property crimes last year. Burglaries decreased 7.6 percent and larceny-thefts decreased 2.2 percent. Motor vehicle thefts increased 0.8 percent from 2016 to 2017.”

These figures were compiled from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States that submitted their crime data to the FBI.

In Florida, the FBI said that Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Hialeah, Tallahassee, and St. Petersburg are the most violent cities, according to WTXL. Jacksonville recorded 106 murders in 2016, the last available data, Orlando had 84 murders, and Miami saw 55 murders. Meanwhile, Tallahassee is considered the tenth-worst city in the United States when it comes to property crime rates, the FBI said, reported FloridaPolitics in June 2018. There were 52 property crimes per 1,000 residents in the state’s capital city.