Miami, FL – A Miami father allegedly shot his entire family before turning the gun on himself. Florida police officers believe that Carlos Zuniga, 45, shot his wife and then his two children on Wednesday evening.
Carlos Zuniga was allegedly struggling with financial woes and was depressed. The Miami man’s wife, Michelle Zuniga, 43, is reportedly in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Lauren Zuniga, 14, is reportedly clinging to life in the same hospital as her mother. Stefan Zuniga, 11, died from his gunshot wounds, Fox News reports.
The Miami family reportedly did not have history of domestic violence. Family friends noted during interviews that financial problems were forcing Carlos Zuniga to prepare to close his hot air balloon company. Winds Aloft Aviation Incorporated opened in 2005 and is most commonly referred to as Miami Balloon Rides.
Family friend Colin Graham has this to say after the Zuniga family murders:
“Michelle and the kids were great people. She is an absolute sweetheart. I have nothing but good things to say about her. Stefan looked just like his father. Almost identical, like a mini-version of him.”
The evening of violence rocked the calm Coral Way neighborhood. Miami detectives are still investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide attempt. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado lives a few blocks away. Mayor Regalado noted he had not seen such a violent crime in the neighborhood in his 30 years as a resident.
The accused murderer was a veteran pilot who had also been working for the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA recently noted major cuts in staff were going to be made. It is currently unknown if Zuniga was among those losing their jobs at the Federal Aviation Administration. He was employed as an aviation safety inspector, the Miami Herald notes.
The couple wed in 1998. Carlos Zuniga had two adult children from his first marriage.
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