VERO BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A Vero Beach man is being held without bond after his brother was found shot to death Sunday inside a home the two brothers shared with their father. The deadly shooting happened at a home on the 8500 block of De Haviland Court.
Investigators suspect 42-year old Eric Deffendall was shot by his younger brother, 39-year-old Mark Deffendall.
Investigators said the two men live at the home with their father, and believe the two brothers may have been fighting outside the home sometime later Sunday morning or early Sunday afternoon.
Investigators said the fight likely moved inside the home, where, they say, Eric Deffendall was shot numerous times in the chest. "One of the brothers obviously picked up a firearm and possibly shot the other brother," Indian River County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tony Consalo said.
Lt. Consalo said the men's father, Rex Deffendall, returned home from shopping around 3 p.m. and found Eric in the living room with the gunshot wounds. Consalo says EMS arrived to the home and pronounced Eric dead.
Meanwhile, Consalo says, Mark's truck was gone, and he was nowhere to be found. Consalo says an alert was sent out to locate Mark, who was eventually found at the Indian River Memorial Hospital receiving stitches for injuries that appeared to be from a fight.
Neighbors who knew the brothers say they are stunned. Consalo says friends of the Deffendall family said the brothers would occasionally fight, but never believed the tension would escalate to this level. "They said they have a good relationship, typical brother relationship. You know, brothers argue at times," Consalo explained.
Investigators are still trying to determine a motive. They said they are not looking for any other persons of interest. Mark Deffendall is charged with first-degree murder.