ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A St. Petersburg father shot and killed his young son before turning the gun on himself, police said Monday.
The 9-year-old boy's mother went to the Trellis at the Lakes apartment complex, located at 11401 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North, to pick up her son just after 6 p.m. Sunday evening, after he had spent the weekend with his father. However, police said the "father was not responding to calls or knocks on the door."
She called police for a welfare check, but officers said they had no reason to suspect foul play and no legal standing to forcibly enter the apartment.
Investigators said the mother returned to the apartment complex on around 9:45 a.m. Monday, where she asked management to open the door at building 39. Inside, they found the bodies of 44-year-old Kevin Bybee and the son, Andres Chateau. Both had gunshot wounds.
Preliminary evidence shows the father shot the boy, and then died by suicide.
"They had been in a contentious custody dispute, but there had been no threats or signs beforehand that it would get to this point," said St. Pete police spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez. "This is just a very, very tragic end."
Police said they are continuing to investigate.
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the *National Suicide Prevention Lifeline*. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text 741-741.