Homestead (CBSMiami) – An eight-year-old girl is fighting for her life after police say her father, a member of the US Coast Guard, opened fire on his family before killing himself.
The incident happened on SW 242 Lane in Homestead.
Police discovered the bodies of US Coast member John Presnar, his wife and his sons Sunday morning after a domestic dispute.
Presnar’s daughter survived the shooting. She’s in critical condition at Niklaus Children’s Hospital in Coral Gables.
According to police, the Presnar’s mother-in-law ran to get help when Presnar started shooting.
Neighbors said they heard her banging on doors.
“The woman was screaming very loud please, please somebody help, somebody help,” said one neighbor. “I never hear anything about them, they seemed like a quiet family.”
Neighbors say the family was recently seen outside together decorating for Christmas.
The US Coast Guard released a statement which read in part:
“The Coast Guard is deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family members of those who were killed. We continue to pray for and offer the full support of the Coast Guard to the young child fighting for her life.”
Presnar was an active duty member who worked as an electronics technician at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach. He served in the US Coast Guard since March of 2001.
“It’s really sad,” said neighbor Mike Blair. “This is supposed to be a joyous occasion, you got bodies being put in body bags, so that’s not good.”
Experts tell us domestic violence incidents normally go up during the holidays. “Typically I get about 30 calls a day for help,” said Somy Ali from the non-profit group No More Tears. “I’m getting about 80 calls a day for help during this time of the season.”
Ali is an advocate for domestic violence survivors and the founder of No More Tear. She urges people to do something if they suspect domestic abuse. “I think as a society we’re apathetic, we don’t want to get involved, we deem it to be not our business and there are a lot of signs, a lot of red flags,” she said.
“We need to reach out, we need to get involved, we must, must must, try to get them help.”