Florida Shooting Suspect Dead After Allegedly Killing Ex-Wife, Ex-Girlfriend and Her Father

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Three people were shot dead in Green Cove Springs, northern Florida on Tuesday. A manhunt for the suspect, identified as Murray Lancaster, is underway. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

A man in northern Florida on Tuesday allegedly abducted his ex-girlfriend from Keeping It Classy beauty salon and then later shot to death the woman and her father as well as his ex-wife before turning the gun on himself.

During a manhunt for the suspect, Murray Lancaster, 41, SWAT teams surrounded a property in Green Cove Springs, about 33 miles south of Jacksonville. Lancaster’s body was found by officials inside a camper trailer. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lancaster allegedly abducted his ex-girlfriend, Valorie Short, on Tuesday morning at around 9:45 a.m. after holding her and her co-workers at gunpoint. He then drove her to an area near the Magnolia Point Golf & Country Club, where Short’s father, Welland “Buddy” Short, was encouraged to meet them. Lancaster shot and killed them both, Florida news outlet WFAA 8 reports, before driving to the Rosemary Hill Road Landfill, the workplace of his ex-wife, Erica Green, where he allegedly shot and killed her.

According to Jacksonville news outlet News4Jax, one of the victims was pregnant. Valorie Short is believed to have two young sons and Green also has two young children. Green was engaged to another man, according to local news.

Lancaster is the nephew of Scott Lancaster, a former sheriff of Clay County, and is also related to Larry Lancaster, a former Clay County commissioner. Officials did not have contact with Lancaster before he killed himself, though Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said he went to a local school to try to say goodbye to his children. A teacher at the school told police Lancaster was not able to see them.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Beseler said Short had a restraining order against Lancaster. The suspect, who was last week fired from the Georgia-Pacific Mill in nearby Palatka, recently violated the court order filed against him by Short and was arrested for her battery and for resisting arrest.

The motive in the shooting is still unknown, but Beseler said it involves a “domestic-type situation where divorces and child custody” were involved.

“The incident is over and everyone is safe at this point,” said Beseler. “This is a terrible and tragic event for our community.”

Also on Tuesday, a separate, unrelated shooting occurred in nearby Palatka after a man allegedly shot his girlfriend in the parking lot of the local health department. The woman, whose name has not been released, was killed and the shooter was at-large.