OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — A family friend of three people killed in a murder that stunned Osceola County is offering new insight on the lives that were lost, and the man investigators say is responsible.
Osceola County deputies say 43-year-old Justin Atkinson, his 16-year-old son Calvin, and friend, 25-year-old Anthony Mull were all shot by their neighbor, 41-year-old Kevin Torres.
Torres has been charged with multiple counts of murder, but the friends and families of the victims are still trying to cope with their loss as they go into the Thanksgiving holiday.
When asked about Calvin Atkinson, Leo Lora’s face lights up.
“We hit it off like the three amigos,” Lora said of his relationship with Atkinson and his father. “You can’t see Calvin without his dad, unless it was on a motorcycle.”
Lora says he was with Calvin two days before he, his dad, and Mull were killed in their Kissimmee apartment complex.
Deputies say Torres was in his own apartment when he shot and killed Justin Atkinson, then went to a neighboring apartment building where he shot Mull and Atkinson’s son, Calvin.
According to the sheriff’s office, two teen-aged girls who were also in the apartment with Calvin and Mull were not only made to watch the murders, but were also forced to help Torres steal valuables from the home under the threat of being killed themselves.
Now, Lora and the victims’ families are trying to make sense of the gruesome murder, and why a neighbor and man they knew decided to kill them.
“I have to make sure that I do what he wants to keep his memory living,” Lora said. “It’s not easy. Every day I’m facing a new feeling or a new emotion, from anger, to sadness, to joy.”
Investigators say Torres left the apartment complex in a stolen car and was eventually taken into custody in Orange County after an hours-long standoff during which he fired multiple gunshots through the car’s windshield.
Torres faces a long list of charges including three counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and abuse of a dead body for allegedly mutilating one of the victims after they were killed.
He’s being held in the Osceola County jail on no bond.
See what Leo Lora had to say about Torres, and how he saw no signs of the violence to come below:
Cox Media Group