PSL police: Man shoots self in head in front of police

Published: Jul. 21, 2018 at 6:55 PM EDT
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PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (WFLX) - Three people are dead after a suspected murder-suicide that occurred Thursday, according to police.

Investigators made the discovery just before 5 p.m., at 814 NW Greenwich Court.

Police say officers were called to the home to do a welfare check. When they arrived, a man answered the door and welcomed officers inside. They say he then sat in a chair, told officers to cover their ears and then pulled out a gun and shot himself.

Police identified him as Christopher Rossi, 53.

During the search, detectives later located a deceased man inside the garage who was identified as Christopher Rossi's father, 81-year-old Peter Rossi.

As detectives continued their search they came across a garbage can inside the garage. Inside this container, detectives said they found the body of a female victim later identified as Adele Frieda Piazza, 79, of Vero Beach. They say the lid on the can was glued shut and Piazza was sitting in chemicals that speed decomposition.

Both Peter Rossi and Adele Piazza appeared to have died from blunt force trauma to the head, said police.

Police believe Rossi also planned to put his father in the decomposing chemicals in trash cans that were already prepared in the garage.

It was not immediately clear what instrument was used to kill the two; however autopsies will be performed.

"It's a very personal, very aggressive attack. Especially the disfigurement to the faces there was definite overkill. There was a lot of anger," said Det. Lt. Scott Beck at a news conference Friday.

Police say Rossi had at least seven loaded guns stashed and hidden throughout the house. They say he likely did this to protect himself if he was confronted.

During the investigation detectives learned Christopher and Peter lived together at the NW Greenwich home.

Police said Peter Rossi is the cousin of Adele Piazza's late husband Anthony and Peter, and Adele regularly visited over the weekends.

Adele's son Steven Piazza called police to do a welfare check on his mother when he had not heard from her for a few days.

Officers were unable to locate Adele in her Vero Beach home and they requested Port St. Lucie police to also conduct a check at the house on NW Greenwich.

Although still under investigation, detectives said they believe that Christopher Rossi killed both Peter and Adele sometime between Sunday and Wednesday.

Neighbors say they were shocked to see the sight of police cars on their street.

"This has never really happened in our neighborhood before," said neighbor Paul Banik.

Morena Cruz,15, lives a couple houses away, and says she saw the son frequently working outside. "He looked pretty nice. He looked like he wouldn't get into any trouble or anything."

Police do have in-house counseling available to the officers who witnessed the suicide.

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