The Grandfather Got Fed up With His Family, Then He Shot His Daughter and His Grandchildren

The Spirit tragedy

Image by Racool_studio — Freepik

Don reached his breaking point.

He couldn’t hide his hate for his grandchildren anymore. He couldn’t keep in the disappointment he felt towards his daughter. So Don went inside and collected his gun.

He fired.

Moments later, Don called 911.

Dispatcher: 911, What’s the address of your emergency?

Don: Yes Ma’am. I just shot my daughter.

And shot all my grandkids. And I’ll be sitting on my step. And when you get here, I want to shoot myself.

Dispatcher: What is the address that you’re at sir?

Don: 2550 NW 25th Terrace, Don Spirit….. Every one of them are dead.

Dispatcher: And you said your name is Don Spirit?

Don: Yep.

Dispatcher: Alright Don, what kind of gun do you have?

Don: It doesn’t matter what kind of gun. They’re all dead. And when you get here I’ll shoot myself. And then you figure out what kind of gun it is …..

Dispatcher: Okay how many people?

Don: Six kids and one adult. And one of them is a baby.

Sarah Was Don’s First Born Child

Sarah Lorraine Spirit was Don Spirit’s first child with Christine.

Don and Christine later gave birth to Josh and Kyle. Sarah lived with her parents and her siblings in Florida. But her father, Don, always seemed to get in trouble with the law.

Don had multiple charges to his name.

These included theft, unlawful firearm possession, battery, drug possession, drunk driving, depriving a child of food and shelter, etc. Thus Don was always in and out of prison.

Sarah’s Father Was Physically Abusive

Don was also physically abusive towards Sarah’s mother, Christine, and sometimes towards Sarah and her siblings.

Sarah and her siblings kept witnessing Don being very violent with their mother.

He threatened to kill her.

He even smashed Christine’s car with a sledgehammer at one point. Don was later diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder.

He could switch from being normal to having extreme uncontrollable outbursts. But he refused to take or stay on medication.

Sarah Dropped Out of High School

Sarah Lorraine Spirit — Image from Facebook

Sarah quit high school in 11th grade.

She started working at a fast-food restaurant and a local grocery store.

Sarah also met Edward Kuhlmann around that time. The two hit it off and started dating. Sarah soon got pregnant with her first child at the age of seventeen. She gave birth to a baby boy, and they named him Kaleb Kuhlmann.

Sarah had her second child with Edward two years later. They named the baby girl Kylie. Sarah named her daughter after her brother Kyle.

At that time, Kyle was deceased.

Don Killed Sarah’s Young Brother

Don accidentally shot Sarah’s young brother, Kyle, on a hunting trip.

Kyle decided he wanted to join his father and brother on the trip because he thought he was missing out. Don allowed Kyle to come along with him and Josh. But something unfortunate happened on the last day of the trip.

Don, Josh, and Kyle were out in the woods. And Don was cleaning his gun whilst half talking to his boys at the same time.

He realized there was rust on the muzzle of the barrel of his gun. So Don used his thumb to polish the area. He rubbed some oil into it.

Don then tried to position the gun back in its case. That’s when he accidentally bumped the trigger and shot Kyle in the head at point-blank range.

Don panicked. He tried to call 911, but there was no cell service.

Don Rushed Back to The Campsite

Don threw Kyle in his pick-up truck and raced back to the campsite.

He got a hold of Christine, who then called the police to meet Don at the campsite.

The paramedics arrived, but there was nothing they could do for Kyle. Kyle’s death changed something in both Don and Josh.

Don became more violent and unstable after Kyle’s death. Meanwhile, Josh became heavily depressed as he had witnessed the entire thing.

Sarah’s Family Moved to Another Part Of Florida

After Kyle’s death, Sarah’s family relocated to Bell, Florida, to start afresh.

There, they lived in a mobile home on two acres of land.

However, Don was a convicted felon at the time of Kyle’s death. Therefore, he wasn’t legally allowed to own a firearm. So, Don was later convicted of possessing a firearm. He took a plea deal and was sent to jail for three years.

By the time Don was released from prison, he had two grandchildren from Sarah. And Sarah already had a third baby on the way. Meanwhile, Christine had divorced Don. So, a lot had changed for Don.

Sarah wasn’t doing well at that time.

She was heavily on drugs. Her baby father, Edward, was always in trouble with the law.

Nonetheless, Sarah gave birth to her third child Jonathan. And everything seemed to go downhill after Jonathan’s birth.

Sarah faced financial difficulties.

Edward was constantly in and out of jail. And Sarah bounced between Christine’s and Don’s house. In addition, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) started getting reports of Sarah’s neglect of her children.

Sarah Lost Custody of Her Children

Sarah was ordered to relinquish custody of her children in 2007.

She signed a power of attorney relegating her children’s care to other family members. And her children were given to different caretakers. But DCF allowed the children to be returned to Sarah a month later.

It didn’t take long before Sarah started neglecting her children again, often leaving them hungry and unattended.

In 2008, Sarah was again pregnant with another man’s child, James Stewart. But James was also not good to Sarah. He was in and out of jail multiple times. Plus, he was a drug addict.

Sarah, James, and the kids moved to a shack behind James’s family property.

Poverty had hit hard on Sarah at that point. So, Sarah constantly knocked on neighbors’ doors, asking for food and diapers.

Sarah Moved Back in With Her Father

Sarah moved back in with Don again. But, Don started getting physically abusive toward Sarah and his grandchildren.

Don hit his grandchildren with belts until they were black and blue. Then Sarah called the police when she was eight months pregnant to tell them that Don was beating her up in front of her children.

Don was arrested for aggravated assault.

He was sentenced to six months in jail. And he was deemed a threat to his grandchildren.

Sarah gave birth to her fourth child, Destiny Nicole Stewart, whilst her father was in jail. But Sarah felt alone because James wasn’t around to support her. And the only man whom she felt could be by her side was behind bars.

So Sarah asked for leniency in her father’s case from the courts.

Sarah Gave Birth to Her Fifth Baby

Sarah gave birth to her fifth child, Brandon James Stewart, in 2010.

Sarah needed help more than ever at that time.

She had five children, all under the age of eight.

Sarah started neglecting her children again. One of Sarah’s children cut his foot, which went untreated until it got infected. Sarah received a warning from the DCF for that. Then, another child got a fractured arm.

Two of Sarah’s children’s teeth started falling out because they were rotting.

Sarah, James, and Don were going hard on drugs by that time.

But the DCF determined there was no reason to seek judicial intervention for the ultimate removal of the children from Sarah’s care because the children were not considered to be in imminent danger.

Sarah found out she was pregnant with her sixth child in 2013.

She gave birth to a baby girl, Alana Stewart. However, James was sentenced to many years in prison soon after leaving Sarah stranded.

Sarah Dived Into Prostitution

Sarah started providing men sexual favors in exchange for money.

She didn’t have a phone of her own. So, she used Don’s phone to receive phone calls and texts. So Don was getting texts from Sarah’s clients and answering calls. These calls and texts made Don angrier by the day.

Don was furious at Collene Stewart. She was a great aunt to his grandkids. He felt that Collene was the one who talked Sarah into prostitution.

Don also grew resentment for Sarah, and his grandchildren grew as well.

Don Shot Sarah and His Grandchildren

In September 2014, Don was on a phone call with the police.

He had just shot his daughter and his six grandchildren.

The police officers arrived at the scene shortly after the call. Meanwhile, Don walked towards the back of his trailer. And Don shot himself before the police had gotten to him.

He died on the scene.

The police found Sarah Spirit lying dead outside. Sarah was stabbed before she was shot to death.

The police then found Kaleb Kuhlmann, Kylie Kuhlmann, Johnathon Kuhlmann, Destiny Stewart, Brandon Stewart, and Alanna Stewart all dead inside the house.

The Aftermath

The DCF agreed to pay $750,000 to settle legal claims resulting from the Spirit family mass killings.

And the people of Bell had a balloon release done by the captains from Bell and Trenton High Schools in honor of the Spirit family.

Everyone wore white on the day.

The whole community was devastated.

One of the police officers who knew the Spirit family very well stated;

“There are certain things in life you can explain. And there are certain things you cannot explain. This is something I cannot explain.”

Sources: nytimes,Kimbyrleigha,