According to reports, the individual suspected of committing a quadruple homicide in Lake Wales on Tuesday morning was fatally shot during a confrontation with law enforcement officials on Wednesday while they were trying to apprehend him.
Lake Wales Police Department officials have reported that Al Joseph Stenson fled to Slumberland Motel in Sanford following the shooting and killing of a mother and her three children.
According to police, Stenson was identified as the boyfriend of one of the victims, but they have not provided further information about the crimes. According to the police, it was confirmed that all individuals involved in the incident were acquainted with each other. Police did not release the names of the victims due to Marsy’s Law.
According to sources, Marlene Pizarro, a teacher at Lake Wales High School, and her daughter, Ariana Pizarro, 17, were the victims of the shooting. Ariana was a senior at the school and a member of the girls weightlifting team, set to graduate in two weeks.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the names of the other victims have not been confirmed. However, it has been reported that they were both children of Marlene Pizarro and were 21 and 11 years old.
On Wednesday, several pictures of Marlene Pizarro with Stenson were displayed on her Facebook page.
The Lake Wales Charter School System expressed deep sadness regarding the tragic events that took place last night. According to an emailed statement on Wednesday afternoon, Wayne Rodolfich, the superintendent of the charter district, stated that all measures have been taken to provide counselors for the students and teachers. According to the spokesperson, the process was initiated last night, and they will provide all essential resources to address the concerns of students and faculty. The Lake Wales Police Department, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and Polk County Public Schools have been instrumental in assisting us during this difficult time and we are grateful for their support. The community is praying for their children, teachers, and community during this challenging time.
According to the police, a medical call was made on Tuesday evening at the residence. Upon arrival, officers discovered the bodies of a mother and her three children, including one adult and two juveniles. The victims had sustained gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene.
Following the discovery of Stenson in Sanford, law enforcement officials collaborated with the Sanford Police Department and Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to apprehend him.
According to a release from the Lake Wales Police Department, Stenson allegedly made statements indicating that he intended to either take his own life or provoke law enforcement into using lethal force against him.
According to reports, Stenson was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, Stenson left the scene at approximately 5 a.m. on Tuesday following the shooting at the Sunrise Apartments on Dawnlight Drive. The victims were discovered by family members in the evening, who then called 911 to notify law enforcement at 8:51 p.m.
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma reported that police were notified of Stenson’s vehicle being spotted near the Slumberland where his brother was staying at approximately 2 a.m. on Wednesday. At approximately 6 a.m., the SWAT team was present at the location. Negotiations between the suspect’s brother and police officials commenced and continued for several hours.
According to Lemma, the negotiators were able to persuade the brother to exit the hotel. However, Stenson declined to give himself up.
Lemma stated that, at a certain point, they were able to convince him to put down the handgun and move away from it.
According to Lemma, Stenson was shot with a foam projectile, which is considered a less lethal option, after he stepped away.
According to Lemma, the projectile had minimal impact on the Stenson. He also stated that the suspect quickly reached for the firearm on the ground, which resulted in SWAT members and the Sanford police department firing their weapons.
Lemma reported that CPR was administered immediately after the suspect hit the ground.
Lemma stated that the individual in question is a murderer and a potential danger. He also mentioned that the individual did not completely follow the instructions to move a safe distance away from the firearm, which could have posed a threat to the officers present at the scene. According to the authorities, the individual was in close proximity to the firearm, which put the officers present at risk.
The suspect was identified with the assistance of law enforcement agencies, including the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Detective Ricky Hartwell with the Lake Wales Police Department is requesting that anyone with information contact the police at 863-678-4223. Individuals who wish to remain anonymous and have the opportunity to receive a monetary reward through Heartland Crime Stoppers can call 800-226 TIPS (8477).
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