Fla. dad kills two sons in front of wife, spares her to suffer their loss, police say

Police outside the Boynton Beach, Fla. home where police say a father killed his two sons before turning the gun on himself on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
CBS Miami
(CBS/AP) BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Police say a father shot and killed his two sons despite their mother's pleas to take her life instead, and then turned the gun on himself, CBS Miami reports.

According to police, Victoria Zavala, 36, was watching television in her Boynton Beach, Fla., home when she heard a commotion just before 2a.m. on Saturday. That's when she found Isidro Zavala, her 45-year-old estranged husband, choking one of their sons.

Victoria Zavala reportedly begged Isidro Zavala to kill her and spare the boys, but police say he told her that he would leave her alive to suffer their loss. She was not injured.

Officers found both boys dead at the scene, and they found the father dressed all in black, dead with self-inflicted gunshot wounds in the chest and head. The victims were identified as Eduardo Zavala, 12, and Mario Zavala, 11.

According to CBS Miami, police say there is no history of reports of domestic violence or abuse at the home.

The Palm Beach Post reports the couple had filed for divorce in October 2012 after nearly 20 years of marriage. They were scheduled to go to court Tuesday for a mediation hearing.

The Zavalas have a 19-year-old son who does not live at his mother's house. Investigators found a note from Zavala to his oldest son in a bag at the crime scene.

In the note, Zavala told the 19-year-old that he was a good son and to take care of himself, Boynton Beach Police Chief Matthew Immler said. The bag also contained a second gun, extra ammunition, duct tape and cutting shears.

A second note was found at Isidro Zavala's home, but police did not release its contents.

Mariana Batalla, Isidro Zavala's roommate, was quoted by the Palm Beach Post Sunday as saying the second note was addressed to him. He said Zavala left him several hundred dollars and instructions to keep his truck and work tools.

According to Batalla, he last saw Isidro Zavala on Friday evening at their house, less than a mile away from the crime scene. Batalla told the Palm Beach Post that his roommate said he couldn't attend a friend's birthday party because "he had to do something important."

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