Two eldest kids dead; third clinging to life in hospital
PORT ORANGE, Fla. -- A domestic quarrel between a married couple on the verge of divorce ended in bloodshed before dawn today in the Spruce Creek Farms subdivision.
The wife ran from the residence -- surely not fathoming that her her husband -- and father of their three sleeping children would do the unthinkable, even with gun in hand.
But 52-year-old David Mohney did just that -- with execution-style precision against all three, killing two of them instantly while the third escaped the intended fate -- clinging to life after emergency transport to the hospital. The father, believing all three were dead, shot and killed himself before the authorities arrived within minutes of the gunfire.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene, 1927 Jackson Lane, just west of the Port Orange city limits, after receiving a 9-1-1 call at 5:11 a.m. about a domestic argument between the couple.
The wife, Cynthia Mohney, ran to the neighbor’s house, telling the neighbor she and her husband, David Mohney, had been arguing when he threatened her with a gun.
Then shots rang out in the suburban community five miles south of Daytona Beach. This was followed by the screams of the anguished mother, who had run to a neighbor's housed, telling the neighbor she and her estranged husband had been ruing when he threatened her with a gun.
Responding deputies found a grisly scene inside -- Mohney was discovered shot in the kitchen, apparently by his own hand, a gun by his side. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.
Also found on the first floor in a bedroom was his dead son and the middle child, David Mohney, 11. In an upstairs bedroom, deputies found the gunman's two daughters.
Savanna Mohney, 14, was dead, but her 9-year-old sister, Lauren Mohney, was alive, though her situation was critical. She was flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando where she remains in extremely critical condition.
A usually stoic Sheriff Ben Johnson was visibly shaken, but didn't mince words when he told reporters at the scene, he was disturbed that the father would kill his own flesh and blood: 'If he wants to commit suicide let him commit suicide! But to shoot his children, that is cowardly!"
Johnson addressed the media, saying, "If he wants to commit suicide let him commit suicide, but to shoot his children, that is cowardly."
"I woke up to the screams of, 'Oh my God, oh my God, this isn't happening here. This isn't happening,'" said the neighbor, who spoke on condition she remained unidentified.
The neighbor said just after 5 a.m. Friday she awoke to the screams.
The couple had recently been going through a divorce that had yet to be finalized, the neighbor said.
The recording stated: "Good Afternoon Parents, I’m calling from Volusia County Schools. We wanted to make you aware that we received information from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department that a tragedy, involving three of our students, occurred off campus this morning. The students are enrolled at Cypress Creek Elementary, Creekside Middle and Spruce Creek High."
The message ended with, "As we learn more information, we will share that information with you. Crisis teams are at each of the schools today and will be there again on Tuesday to assist students in dealing with this tragic situation."
There is no school Monday because it is a teacher duty day.