A Florida father and his 11-year-old daughter — who had desperately tried to call for help in a heart-wrenching 911 call — were allegedly shot to death by a neighbor after an ongoing dispute about the man’s dog.
Port St. Lucie Police claim 82-year-old Ronald Delserro broke into his neighbor’s home Monday and shot Guy Alexander Hansman, 55, and his 11-year-old daughter, Harper Hansman to death, according to a statement from police.
Police were called to the home Monday just before 12:30 p.m. after receiving a harrowing call from Harper Hansman, who said a neighbor was shooting inside her home.
“If you heard this call come over the radio, it would make the hair on your neck stand up. A little girl calls in saying, ‘There’s someone shooting in our house. I think my parents are dead. I think my family is dead,’” St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascera told local station KMOV.
Port St. Lucie Police officers and a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputy arrived to find an active shooter inside the Hansmans' home, who was later identified as Delserro, armed with two hand guns.
Four of the family members who had been inside the home managed to safely flee, but Guy Hansman and his daughter were shot and killed, police said.
Police exchanged gunfire with Delserro inside the family’s home. One police officer was shot in the arm and chest during the exchange. The arm injury was deemed non-life-threatening and the bullet to the chest was stopped by the officer’s bulletproof vest, police said.
“The officers and deputy secured the home and perimeter and awaited the arrival of Port St. Lucie Police Department SWAT Team,” police said. “The Port St. Lucie Police Department SWAT Team entered the victim’s home and made contact with the suspect inside the residence in a 2nd floor bedroom.”
Police said Delserro was found dead inside the home. It’s not clear how the 82-year-old was killed.
A public information officer from the Port St. Lucie Police department declined to provide any additional details to Oxygen.com about Delserro’s death.
The alleged motivation for the shooting appeared to be a months-long dispute between the families about Delserro’s dog.
Just days before the shooting, Delserro had been notified by the city’s animal control office that his gray Italian Mastiff, Roxy, had been deemed a “dangerous dog” following an incident months earlier where the dog had allegedly bitten a woman identified by police only as “Mrs. Hansman” and her dog.
Mrs. Hansman told animal control officers she had been walking her dog, Rucca, in her backyard when the neighbor’s dog, who was unleashed, began to attack Rucca, a white poodle mix.
Mrs. Hansman tried to break up the fight by sitting on Roxy and was bit several times as a result, police said.
Both Mrs. Hansman and Rucca received medical attention for their injuries, and animal control officers requested that Delserro and his wife quarantine Roxy at their home while an investigation began about whether to deem Roxy a dangerous dog.
Animal control officers temporarily took custody of Roxy the next day after Mrs. Hansman called animal control to report that the dog was unsupervised running around in her fenced yard.
The dog was eventually returned to the Delserros, while the investigation continued.
Mrs. Hansman and Harper both testified at a hearing about Roxy on June 24.
A week later, on July 1, animal control alerted the Delserros that the investigation had concluded and Roxy had been deemed a dangerous dog.
“I believe this to be an intentional act of violence against these neighbors," Port St. Lucie Assistant Police Chief Richard DelToro said Monday, according to local station WPTV. "It's tragic. You can't rationalize irrational behavior."
Roxy was “humanely euthanized” on Wednesday — just two days after the deadly shooting at the Hansman family home.
Neighbors in the community were shocked by the violence that erupted in the usually quiet neighborhood.
“The rage that we’re into right now is really not good, and to do this over a dog is senseless and a little girl died,” Charles Dagata told local station WPEC.
The investigation into the homicides remains ongoing.
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