Florida Father Isidro Zavala Forces Wife to Watch Him Murder Their 2 Sons, Ages 11 & 12, Before Shooting Himself Dead
According to police, Isidro Zavala, 45, strangled his two sons, 12-year-old Eduardo Zavala and 11-year-old Marco Zavala with a rope before shooting the younger boy with a TEC-9 semiautomatic pistol in his Boynton Beach home.
The Palm Beach Post reports that Zavala was going to kill his wife as well but decided to let her live in order to force her to watch him murder their sons. According to Boynton Beach Police Chief Matthew Immler, Victoria Flores Zavala, 36, begged her husband to spare the boys and kill her instead.
“She said, ‘Why don’t you kill me?’ He said, ‘no, you’re going to live with this,'” Immler is quoted in the Post.
After killing his sons, Zavala then shot and killed himself with a .38 caliber handgun.
“What Mrs. Zavala had to go through– watch her children killed before her– is probably the most horrific thing you can imagine, at least for me” Immler told NBC 6, adding that the motive for the killings is “just speculation at this point.”
Victoria Flores Zavala told police that the couple is separated and that Isidro no longer lived in the home where the murders occurred. According to CBS Miami, the couple had been married for 20 years before Victoria filed for divorce last October.
Police recovered the TEC-9, a gun that was prohibited under the old assault weapons ban, the .38 caliber handgun, extra ammunition, duct tape, cutting shears and a note addressed to the couple’s 19-year-old son, who was not present, from the home.
Neighbors described Isidro as a devoted, church-going father who was a strict disciplinarian who liked to watch his sons play little league baseball.
“[Zavala] was a fixture here. He would help us out immensely,” East Boynton League President Jack McVey told the Post. “That’s why it’s so surprising that he did this.”
This is at least the third time this year that a parent has intentionally shot their child to death before committing suicide.
On January 4, 30-year-old Melanie Reyes of Ocala, Florida shot and killed her 6-month-old son Jonah Mendoza before turning the gun on herself.
And on January 21, Las Vegas Metro Police Lieutenant Hans Pieter Walters,52, shot and killed his 5-year-old son Maximillian and his wife, 46-year-old Kathryn Michelle Walters, before killing himself.