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Florida Church Musician Accused Of Fatally Shooting Wife And Kids, But Was 'Too Scared' To Take His Own Life
William Broyles allegedly shot his wife, Candace Lynn Broyles, before bursting into the bedrooms of his two adult children, daughter Cora Lynn and son Aaron, and opening fire.
A Florida church musician is accused of gunning down his wife and two adult children, shooting each multiple times in the family’s home to “make sure they didn’t suffer” before calling police and turning himself into authorities.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said in a press conference Wednesday that William Broyles, 57, later told investigators he didn’t take his own life because he was “too scared to do that.”
“This case is just tragic,” Leeper said. “It’s crazy, it just doesn’t make sense.”
Broyles allegedly called 911 around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday to report that he killed his family in their home just outside of Callahan.
“When the deputies arrived, the suspect[ed] shooter was lying down in the driveway of the residence unarmed, waiting on them,” Leeper said.
Deputies took Broyles, who served as the director of music ministries at a local church, into custody and then went inside the home where they discovered the bodies of Broyles' 57-year-old wife Candace Lynn Broyles, along with the body of their 27-year-old daughter, Cora Lynn, and 28-year-old son, Aaron.
Leeper said Broyles shot his wife in the living room/den area of the house before entering his daughter’s bedroom and shooting her “as she was waking up.”
“He then busted through the door of his son’s bedroom and shot him,” Leeper said.
Leeper said that after firing at his son, Broyles left the room to get another gun and then returned and shot his son again.
“He told us that he shot each victim multiple times just to make sure they didn’t suffer,” he said.
The couple also has another adult son, who was living out of state at the time of the shooting, according to local station WTLV-WJXX.
Leeper declined to discuss a possible motive in the case and said it was “still under investigation.”
“We have a pretty good idea of what we think happened, but we’re still investigating to make sure,” he said.
Authorities had no previous record of domestic violence incidents at the home, Leeper said, describing the triple homicide as a “senseless act.”
“We’ve talked to people who know him and this was just unexpected,” Leeper said, adding that the couple’s daughter did have some form of “functional autism.”
Broyles served as the director of music ministries for the Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church, according to their website.
Although Broyles is no longer listed on the church’s staff page, a biography on the site described him as “happily married” and said he served as the church’s musician for 23 years, local station WJXT reports.
“Bill has been happily married for 30 years to Candace and they have three children, sons Evan and Aaron and daughter Cara, along with three crazy Corgi pups,” the biography read. “In his free time, Bill enjoys all types of outdoor activities, reworking older cars, and home and garden projects.”
Broyles also holds a degree in industrial engineering and had previously worked in the aerospace and medical device industries.
Broyles is now facing three counts of murder and is being held without bond at the Nassau County Jail, where he has been placed on suicide watch, WJXT reports.