Edgewater, FL – A gunman took a hostage at a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting in Florida on Monday night and then killed the hostage and another man before taking his own life during a standoff with the SWAT team.
Edgewater police said the incident occurred at about 7 p.m. on Aug. 8 as a NA meeting was underway in a room in the back of a charitable organization located in the 500-block of North Ridgewood Avenue, near New Smyrna Beach, the New York Post reported.
Police said an armed man, later identified as 49-year-old Quinton Francis Hunter, entered the meeting and shot one man before taking one of the female participants – 33-year-old Erica Hoffman – hostage.
Then first victim was later identified as 59-year-old Ian Greenfield, WKMG reported.
Terrified people fled the room as the shots rang out.
Edgewater police said about 20 people escaped as the hostage situation continued, WKMG reported.
This is the back side of the building where a deadly standoff took place late last night in Edgewater.
We are waiting to get more information from police though we know three people were found dead inside. @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/ILkpVXHSFr
— Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) August 9, 2022
Police set up a perimeter around the area and brought in a SWAT team while they attempted to negotiate with Hunter.
However, efforts to communicate with the gunman failed and when the SWAT team made entry to the building, they found three people dead, including the suspect, WKMG reported.
Hunter reportedly streamed a Facebook Live video from inside the meeting room during the standoff, but it appeared he had already shot Hoffman and Greenfield at that point, WRBW reported.
He didn’t say anything during the livestream, according to authorities.
“We made the quick decision to utilize our SWAT team, and we breached the doors and located three deceased people,” Edgewater Police Chief Joe Mahoney told WRBW.
Investigators said they believed Hunter was Hoffman’s ex-boyfriend and said she had recently “formed a new relationship” with Greenfield.
“Mr. Greenfield and Miss Hoffman create some kind of relationship — they didn’t put a label on it right now — but there was a new friendship and we’re working on the details to see if that was the entire motive of Mr. Hunter… jealousy,” a police spokesman said at a press conference.
“But I don’t know that yet. There’s still a lot of investigating we have to do,” he added.
Chief Mahoney said called the murders a domestic incident and said Hunter had “clear intent” to shoot the man and harm the woman when he entered the NA meeting, WRBW reported.
Police said Hunter had a lengthy criminal history that included probation violations and felon in possession of a firearm charges in Missouri.
The police chief said detectives were still interviewing witnesses and the investigation is ongoing, WRBW reported.