Riviera dad kills 4 children, wife & self - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Riviera dad kills 4 children, wife & self

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A Riviera Beach father open fires on his family killing his wife and four stepchildren before turning the gun on himself. His real motive is a mystery he took to the grave.

The victims are 36-year-old Natasha Whyte-Dell and four children, ages 10, 11, 13 and 14.

UPDATE, MON 10 PM: Michael Barnett cannot put into work the pain of losing his children: Diane, Bryan, Danny and Javon. His 15-year-old son, Ryan, is struggling to survive. All were shot by their stepfather, 41-year-old Patrick Dell, Monday morning.

"The younger kids were in the same bedroom and the elementary school children were in the same bedroom," said Rivera Beach Police Chief Clarance Williams.

Two toddlers, Dell had fathered with his estranged wife, were not harmed.

"He's obsessed and possessed. He would follow her everywhere she went," said relative Lydia Smith.

While Dell, a Port of Palm Beach worker, had been estranged from his wife for about two years, family members say he followed her to nursing school, would come by the house, and accuse her of cheating on him with a next door neighbor.

After he threatened her with a knife, she got a restraining order against him. "It's just his mind, I think, he's not right. [It's] not right what has been done here," said another relative, Ashfield Roxborough.

"I can't imagine us burying everybody yet," Smith added. "I don't know how we are going to do it."

Here are some warning signs to look for to know if you're in a relationship that could turn violent.

  • Your partner is over-controlling
  • Wants to know where you are every minute
  • May try to isolate you from friends and family.
  • Abuses animals.
  • Has made threats before.

If you do need help, please call the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-800-500-1119.

Previously: A police officer on routine patrol Monday witnessed the end of a murder-suicide in Riviera Beach as a man suspected of shooting and killing his estranged wife and four children shot himself at 1225 West 30th Street.

A Riviera Beach police officer investigating a suspicious vehicle parked at the corner of Avenue M and West 30th Street shortly after 2 a.m. Monday and heard what sounded like muffled gunshots. He called for back-up and saw a man exit a residence as he approached 1225 W. 30th St. The officer said the man raised a handgun and shot himself. The man, later identified as Patrick Dell, was pronounced dead at the scene. He would have turned 42 on Oct. 8.

Inside the home, police found Dell's estranged wife, 36-year-old Natasha Whyte-Dell, and seven children. Five of the children were Patrick Dell's stepchildren and two were his children with Whyte-Dell. Whyte-Dell and four children were pronounced dead at the scene, all by gunshots.

One 15-year-old male was transported to St. Mary's Hospital where he is being treated for a gunshot injury. The two identified as the couple's biological children are being cared for by relatives. They are believed to be 1 and 3 years old.

The children who were killed are 11-year-old Javon Nelson, 10-year-old Daniel Barnett, both who attended Bethune Elementary School; 14-year-old Bryan Barnett, a student at Palm Beach Gardens High School; and 13-year-old Diane Barnett, who attended Howell Watkins Middle School. Palm Beach County School District officials plan to have grief counselors available at each of the children's schools today.

Police believe Dell acted alone and are investigating the incident as a murder-suicide. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Riviera Beach Police at (561) 845-4123 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

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