OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — An Osceola County man admitted to deputies that he shot and killed two adult men and a 16-year-old male early Tuesday at an apartment complex in Buena Ventura Lakes, Sheriff Marcos Lopez said.
What You Need To Know
- An Osceola County man was arrested in connection with a triple homicide
- Kevin Christopher Torres faces 18 charges in the case
- The victims were two adult men and a 16-year-old male
- The mother of one of the victim's daughters said she is devastated
Kevin Christopher Torres, 41, was arrested and faces 18 charges, including three counts of murder, in connection with the deaths of Justin Atkinson, 43, his son 16-year-old Calvin Atkinson, and Anthony "Bubby" Mull, 25, authorities said. Other charges included home invasion with a firearm, burglary, kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated assault, aggravated child abuse, abuse of a dead human body and tampering with evidence.
Brittany Steele, the mother of Mull's 3-year-old daughter, Madison, said she is devastated at the loss. She said she and her daughter had spoken with Mull on FaceTime just hours before he was killed. She said Madison was excited to tell her dad about a recent trip to the fair. Now, it's hard to believe that they won't see Mull again, Steele said.
“It’s horrible. It’s hard for me to even put into words how I feel because he was only 25,” Steele said. “And my daughter is only 3. His other son is only 5.”
Steele said she's still trying to process the shock of losing Mull, who she and everyone had called “Bubby” since he was young. Steele said she was together with Mull for five years, describing him as a good friend and a great father.
“He was very active,” Steele said. “He always wanted to teach Madison how to ride. He was teaching her how to ride a bike. And he always took her on the four-wheelers; that was their thing. That was what she wanted to do every time she saw him.
"It’s a lot to take in, trying to explain to a 3-year-old that she’s not going to see her dad again."
According to the arrest report, Torres told investigators that he found Justin Atkinson in Torres’ apartment. Torres told investigators he asked what Atkinson was doing in his apartment, but before he could answer, "Kevin said he shot him in the head," the arrest report said.
Torres then told investigators he went to Atkinson's apartment nearby to ask for help but worried they would attack him if they realized he'd killed Atkinson, according to the arrest report.
Torres told investigators he then shot and killed Mull and Atkinson's son Calvin, according to the arrest report. An 11-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl inside the apartment at the time witnessed the attack, according to Lopez.
“He gave a full confession and detailed confession about the events that took place,” according to Lopez. “He admitted to killing these three individuals and admitted to his actions involving the juveniles and the stolen vehicle.”
Torres is being held in the Osceola County Jail.
Records indicate Torres served time in Florida for nine felonies. Lopez said Torres has been arrested 46 times and has a history of mental health issues, but he doesn’t believe those issues led to the killings.
“The evidence in his case, and based on his statements, it wasn’t a mental health issue," Lopez said. "He thought this out before he did it. Just going over there and saying, ‘Hey these guys are going to be (mad) because I shot him.’ So he went over and killed them."
Torres has had competency hearings regularly for other crimes. Criminal defense attorney Jonathan Rose said there’s no safety net in the judicial system when it comes to mental-health treatment.
“When someone has a mental-health problem that is as substantial as his appear to be, the system basically grinds to a halt,” he explained, “Because you’re trying to get the person on the correct course of medication to get them to understand what’s going on, and the judges have to rely on the experts who are appointed.
“The statutes require what they require, and the judges and everybody’s hands are tied. You can’t keep the guy locked up forever if he’s entitled to bond or he’s out getting treatment.”
Steele said she hopes to see the law hold Torres accountable.
“I really hope that at the least we can get justice,” Steele said. “And I hope that they never let this guy out to do that again.”
Much of the apartment complex where two of the victims were discovered remained blocked off with crime scene tape Wednesday afternoon to keep the area clear.
Nearby, small memorials for the victims have been set up with candles lit and balloons with messages written in remembrance.
Friends and family gathered at a makeshift memorial Wednesday night.
A teenager who goes by the name of Faint described Calvin Atkinson, the 16-year-old killed, as genuine and humble. “It’s devastating and sad what happened,” he said, calling Calvin, “a great friend.”
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