Various TikTokkers are rehashing one of Florida’s most shocking crimes in recent history, a 2014 tragedy in which a grandfather killed his daughter and her six children before dying by suicide in Bell, Fla.
But why did Don Spirit kill his family?
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement offered a possible motive in their final investigative report, according to WTLV. The report came six months after Spirit, 51, killed his daughter Sarah Spirit, 28, and his grandchildren Kylie Kuhlmann, 9, Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11, Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8, Destiny Stewart, 5, Alanna Stewart, 2 months, Brandon Stewart, 4.
Spirit was angry with the great aunt to three of the children.
According to the FDLE report, Spirit felt rage toward Collene Stewart — the great aunt of three of the kids — who was at his trailer the day before the murders and reportedly overheard him telling Sarah that her kids were “not worth a s--t” and that he hated them.
Spirit later apologized, according to the report, and said that he was “stressed out” that Sarah was unemployed and taking money for sexual acts with a man.
Additionally, Spirit accused Stewart of turning Sarah into a “prostitute” and said that her children “were not going to going to live this kind of life.”
Spirit’s ex-wife, meanwhile, claimed he was bipolar and possibly under the influence of drugs. The FDLE report indicated that Spirit had been off his medication for weeks and that he was smoking “spice.”
Six years later, Don Spirit’s 9-1-1 call is circulating on TikTok.
Videos under the hashtag #DonSpirit have been viewed 98.3k times on TikTok, according to the current tally. Many of those videos contain audio from Spirit’s 9-1-1 call — some with warnings about the graphic content, some without.
According to WTLV, Spirit called 9-1-1 at 4 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2014, the day of the killings. “I just shot my daughter and shot all my grandkids,” he told dispatchers. “I’ll be sitting on my steps. When you get here, I’m going to shoot myself.”
Spirit was pacing outside his trailer by the time the first units from the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office arrived. “I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at the Stewarts,” Spirit told the deputies, according to their report. “Collene Stewart has turned Sarah into a whore and drugs, and I’m fed up with this whole family. The Stewart family, they’ve ruined my family. They’ve ruined my life and I’m just tired of ‘em all... and I’ve taken care of it today.”
Then, Spirit emerged from the back of the trailer with a semi-automatic weapon and died by suicide, according to the report.
If you or someone you know needs help, use SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find support for mental health and substance use disorders in your area: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov, or call 1-800-662-4357 for 24-hour assistance.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.