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Quadruple Homicide Suspect Killed During Standoff With Florida Police

Sanford, FL – A 40-year-old woman and her three children were murdered by her boyfriend in Lake Wales on Tuesday prior to a deadly overnight standoff with police, according to investigators.

The victims of the quadruple homicide were identified by family members as 40-year-old schoolteacher Marlene Pizarro, as well as Pizarro’s 21-year-old son and her 11- and 17-year-old daughters, WTSP reported.

Investigators said Pizarro’s boyfriend, 38-year-old Al Stenson, shot Pizarro and her children to death at her home at the Sunrise Apartments on Dawnlight Drive at approximately 5 a.m. on May 2.

He allegedly fled the scene immediately afterward, WTSP reported.

Family members discovered the victims’ bodies and called 911 at approximately 8:51 p.m., according to The Ledger.

Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said his office received reports at about 2 a.m. the next morning that Stenson’s vehicle was seen parked across the street from the Slumberland Motel in Sanford.

Sanford is approximately 80 miles away from Lake Wales, WESH reported.

Stenson’s brother was staying at the motel, according to Sheriff Lemma.

Investigators said a SWAT unit arrived at the scene at approximately 6 a.m. and proceeded to negotiate with Stenson through his brother “for hours,” The Ledger reported.

Investigators said Stenson told police that he planned to kill himself or to force them to kill him, according WTSP.

The suspect’s brother was ultimately able to get out of the motel room, but Stenson still refused to give up, Sheriff Lemma said.

“At one time, we were able to talk him into putting the handgun down and step away from it,” the sheriff told The Ledger.

But the gun was still too close by.

“This guy is a murderer, a threat and he did not fully comply with the orders to walk far enough away from the firearm where we felt like he could not get to it in a matter of time when he presented a threat to the officers who were on the scene,” the sheriff said, according to The Ledger. “He was close enough in proximity to the firearm where he posed a threat to the officers who were on the scene.”

An officer then shot Stenson with a “less lethal” foam projectile, which the sheriff said had little effect.

“The suspect immediately went for the gun on the ground,” he said.

That’s when members of the Sanford Police Department and the SWAT unit opened fire on him, The Ledger reported.

“As soon as the suspect hit the ground, they immediately administered CPR,” Sheriff Lemma said.

Despite their efforts, Stenson succumbed to his wounds at the scene, WTSP reported.

“The unfortunate end is that this individual chose to end it in the manner in which he did,” Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith told WESH.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is handling the ongoing investigation.

Police have not released a motive for the quadruple homicide.

Pizarro’s brother, Julian Ramos, confirmed the victims’ identities during an interview with WTSP.

“Everything that everyone is reading online and seeing in the news is true,” Ramos said. “My beautiful sister and my beautiful nieces and nephew were killed brutally. I can’t go into too much detail, but it’s true.”

Ramos said he is now working to gather enough funds to bring his murdered family members back to Puerto Rico so they can be buried at the family’s cemetery plot.

A fundraising campaign established to meet that goal has raised more than $30,000 so far.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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