Man fatally shoots 88-year-old mother, himself
MARGATE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida senior citizen community is reeling after a resident shot and killed his elderly mother before turning the gun on himself, an act he had informed authorities about in a 911 call and which led to a SWAT team standoff, police said.
Investigators said 58-year-old Robert Halik called 911 around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday and told the dispatcher there would be a murder-suicide at his apartment, located at the Palm Springs Clubhouse complex on 1700 NW 80th Ave. in Margate. Police said Halik then hung up.
The phone call prompted a quick response from the Margate Police Department's Special Response and Crisis Negotiation teams. "I just heard a lot of noise and a lot of talking," said the alleged shooter's next-door neighbor, who asked not to be identified. "Then [the SWAT team] came to my door, and they told me I had to leave."
When asked why Halik would display such violent behavior, his neighbor replied, "I had no idea what happened, whether he snapped or why."
Surrounding Margate streets were marked with crime scene tape and blocked off for several hours Saturday as police said they tried to make contact with Halik. "I couldn't get in my neighborhood, and I came down here," said area resident Eric Branch. "I saw a whole bunch of cops and then I heard a big boom."
Margate Police Sgt. Lori Eller said authorities attempted to talk with Halik. "Upon arrival, officers observed a while male exit the residence, look around and go back into the residence," she said. "Officers got on the PA, they tried to make contact with him, and shortly after two apparent gunshots were heard."
Police said they entered the unit and found Halik and his mother, 88-year-old Jindra Halik, shot dead inside of their apartment.
Longtime Margate resident Curtis Cox indicated he had never seen a shooting take place in his neighborhood before. "And that's a very quiet community over there, too," he said. "It's the first time it's happened in Margate, something like this. Very quiet community."
Police said it remains unclear why Halik killed his mother before taking his own life.
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