PALM BAY, Fla. — A 42-year-old man fatally shot himself after shooting his 72-year-old mother and his 17-year-old nephew Thursday morning at their Palm Bay home, police said.
Tyler Clement called 911 shortly before 7:15 a.m. to report that he had been shot in the leg and his grandmother had also been shot at their home on Fallon Boulevard near Babcock Street, Palm Bay Police Chief Nelson Moya said.
Another call came in moments later from the gunman, Robert Joseph Franklin Jr., saying that he wanted to kill himself, Moya said.
Franklin barricaded himself in the home upon officers' arrival and later killed himself, police said.
The two victims were hospitalized in stable condition.
Clement told Channel 9 that his uncle had depression, which worsened after the death of his father.
He said Franklin had been argumentative in the past, but the former New Jersey law enforcement officer and U.S. Marine had not been violent.
"I knew he was going through something," he said. "He wasn't acting right, but I never knew he would shoot my grandma and me."
Clement said he was shot in his leg twice as he tried to protect his grandmother.
"He pulled the trigger on my grandmom and pulled (the gun) on me and pulled the trigger," he said.
Clement said he managed to escape through a bathroom window and made it to a neighbor's house, where he called police.
Staci Franklin, Clement's mother and Franklin's sister, said she prays her mother fully recovers.
"I just want my mom to get better," she said. "He'll be fine. He's a tough kid. But my mom needs every prayer out there that anyone can give."
Port Malabar Elementary School was placed on lockdown and then on shelter-in-place status, but both orders were lifted before 9 a.m., when the crime scene was secured.
© 2020 Cox Media Group