Gunman, 24 shoots and kills Catholic priest and his sister before he's shot dead by police

Tuesday, January 30, 2024
 – A gunman who was shot dead in Florida after killing his grandfather and injuring two cops had just murdered a retired priest and his sister, police have said.

Officers arrived at a home in Palm Bay after receiving a routine report about 'domestic disturbance' during a birthday party on Sunday, January 28.

According to Mail Online, a gunfight broke out which ended with Brandon Kapas, 24, dead after shooting two officers and fatally injuring his grandfather William Kapas who had tried to intervene.

Police later discovered an arsenal of weapons in his car which they found was registered to an address in the north of the city. When they went there, they found the bodies of Father Robert Hoeffner, 76, and his sister Sally in the home they shared.

'Our officers' actions yesterday prevented something even more tragic and devastating from happening and potentially what could have been potentially an active shooter-type incident,' Palm Bay police chief Mariano Angello told a press conference.

'Our officers did what they were trained to do, and that's neutralize and stop a threat to our community.'

Father Robert Hoeffner had celebrated 50 years in the ministry last year before his sad demise.

'Throughout his priesthood, Father Hoeffner served the people of God with compassion and humility,' said the Most Reverend John Noonan of the Diocese of Orlando.

'We will miss his grace-filled presence. We know he and his sister are received by the Lord with mercy and love.'

Kapas had a series of previous arrests dating back to at least 2019 in Brevard County for DUI and drug offenses, and resisting arrest.

Police who arrived at the home on Forgal Avenue NE at 2.30pm on Sunday were warned by his uncle that Kapas might be armed.

It was then that Kapas was seen bolting out of the front door and heading towards the stolen car.

Chief Angello said he was tasered after refusing to comply with a request to stop but managed to break free during a scuffle with officers.

Two deputies were shot and injured before more officers arrived at the scene and chased Kapas up the street as he fired back at them.

The man's grandfather was caught in the crossfire before the 24-year-old himself was shot dead.

'It's a very quiet neighborhood and on our street we've been very good at looking out for each other, so for anything to happen it shocking,' one neighbor told Fox35.

'It's really scary because this is like my home area, so to see all this going on is very overwhelming,' said another.

'It's too close to home.'

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