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Donation drive held for children who were home during Christmas Eve murder-suicide

Posted at 9:06 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 23:06:17-05

LAKELAND, Fla. — An inspiring donation drive is now underway in Polk County, Florida, to help four young victims following an apparent murder-suicide.

Lakeland Police officers responded to a house on Atlanta Avenue on Christmas Eve to find two men and a woman shot to death.

According to police, Leighton Josephs stormed into the home and killed two others before turning the gun on himself.

Police rescued four children from the home, under the age of 10, who were inside the home during the attack.

"These kids are going to have to go through a long process of healing, a lot of prayer," said William Dunn.

Dunn operates the Polk County nonprofit, Take a Kid Fishing Fl, that helps foster children through fishing excursions.

He immediately put out a call for donations for the four children after hearing about Tuesday's tragedy.

"I got people who are wanting to donate bikes," said Dunn. "I even had a lady who said she’ll unwrap gifts from under her tree to bring for these kids. The community is phenomenal.”

Dunn says the children are in need of clothes and Christmas gifts.

Pastor Brandon Jenkins dropped off a check for the young victims Wednesday on behalf of his Lakeland church, Heart of the Father Ministry.

"We just can’t stand by and watch, we have to get involved," said Jenkins. "My heart was definitely filled with compassion for these children."