NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – The biological father of a young man who was one of three people killed inside a Northwest Miami-Dade home says his son died while trying to protect his mother.
“He died doing exactly what I would have done and that is protecting his mother. I am proud of him. He went with his Mom, which he probably wanted to do. He protected her,” said Jeffrey Eskridge, whose 20-year-old son Jeffrey Eskridge, Jr. was killed.
“That was very much like him,” said the victim’s ex-girlfriend Serina Murphy. “That was very much like him trying to protect someone.”
Murphy wept as she told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench outside the family home that Jeffrey Eskridge Jr. “was very helpful. He was very sweet. For his step-father to do that to the family, I thought I knew Charley. I thought he would never do something like that. It is very shocking.”
Miami-Dade Police and family members say they believe this was a murder-suicide.
Miami-Dade police said just before 3:30 a.m. they received a call about a man with a gun at 5564 NW 193rd Lane.
“The officers came through the back, that’s when they observed through the sliding glass door possibly three bodies. That’s when they utilized the front door, they forced entry into the house and that’s when they discovered three bodies deceased from apparent gunshot wounds,” said police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta. “From statements we have received from relatives arriving on the scene indicate, or are leaning toward, a possible domestic related murder suicide.”
Police and family members identified the shooter as Charles Davis.
Davis has an extensive criminal history including a second-degree murder conviction, arrests for battery and robbery, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website.
Family members told CBS4 that Davis shot and killed Valrie Davis, his wife of eight years, and his stepson Jeffrey Eskridge Jr. before turning the gun on himself.
Jeffrey Eskridge Sr. told CBS4 that he believes his biological son was defending his mother when the couple was in an argument.
“Valrie and Charlie were arguing and my son walked in and he was defending her so he shot him and when she ran out, he shot her,” said Eskridge..
Eskridge says Davis’s 16-year-old stepdaughter was also in the house at the time but survived.
“He told Tyria that he loved her too much to kill her so he spared her. She was hiding in the closet at the time,” he said.
Eskridge said he went to the Davis home after he got a call from his daughter who told him his son was dead.
“Charlie, his momma’s husband, killed him and killed her and killed himself,” said Eskridge. “I don’t know if I’m dreaming or if it’s for real or what.”
Eskridge believes his son acted heroically at the end.
“He was protecting his momma. I know he was, I know my son,” said Eskridge.
The details are hard for the father to swallow.
“The only thing I can do now is bury my son,” said Eskridge.
D’Oench also spoke with Davis’s uncle, Eldon McKenzie, who said. “I feel bad about this, real bad. He was mad, that’s all. It’s a broken heart thing. I regret everything and I hate what happened. I am sorry for me and my family.”
Christie Green, a friend of Valerie Davis, said “I am shocked, still shocked. She was an extremely nice person.”