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Surviving child upgraded to stable after father shoots 3 kids, self in Port Orange

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A father shot three of his children, killing two, before fatally shooting himself in a Port Orange home, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said.

Officers said the only surviving child, 9-year-old Lauren Mohney, has been upgraded from critical to stable condition at Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Savanna Mohney, 14, and David Mohney, 11, were killed, deputies said. Their father, David Mohney, 52, was pronounced dead at the hospital, officials said.

The shooting happened at a home near Jackson Lane in the Spruce Creek Farms subdivision of Port Orange, which is about 5 miles south of Daytona Beach.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said the incident may have stemmed from an early morning domestic dispute between David Mohoney and his wife, Cynthia Mohney, 48.

Shortly after 5 a.m., Cynthia Mohney ran to a neighbor's house for help, saying her husband threatened her with a gun, authorities said.


PHOTOS: Images from the scene


"I woke up to the screams of, 'Oh my God, oh my God, this isn't happening here.  This isn't happening,'" said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

While at the neighbor's house, the sound of gunshots rang out, deputies said.

When authorities arrived, the two girls were found in an upstairs bedroom, and the boy was in a bedroom on the ground floor of the house, authorities said. Deputies said the father was found on the kitchen floor with a handgun next to him.

WFTV learned the couple had recently been going through a divorce that had yet to be finalized. 

Johnson addressed the media, saying, "If he wants to commit suicide let him commit suicide, but to shoot his children, that is cowardly."

Shortly after the shooting investigators discovered the family dog outside the home. The dog was taken away by Animal Control.

Cynthia Mohney was being questioned by detectives at the Sheriff's Office.

Volusia County Schools said the three children were enrolled at Cypress Creek Elementary, Creekside Middle and Spruce Creek High School.  Officials have crisis counselors at each of the schools and will have them there again Tuesday, following Monday's teacher duty day. 

"I wish I could trade places with her because she doesn't deserve it and the fact that knowing I woke up this morning and she didn't for no reason," said Natalie Milchak, a friend of Savanna Mohney's.

Volusia County Schools sent an automated call to the families of students who attend those schools. 

"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. 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."