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Florida man kills wife, son with crossbow in murder-suicide

By Eric M. Johnson

(Reuters) - Using a crossbow and arrows, a Florida man shot his wife and teenage son dead in their Miami-area home and drove hundreds of miles north to Tallahassee and wounded his elder son. He then slit his own throat in a hotel room, police said.

Officials in the southeast U.S. state are trying to piece together the three-day murder-suicide that began when Pedro Maldonado shot his 47-year-old wife, Monica, and his 17-year-old son, Pedro, with a "hand-held crossbow that shoots small arrows" on Monday in Weston, a suburb outside Fort Lauderdale, Broward Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The 53-year-old man then drove some 450 miles to Tallahassee, in the state's panhandle, and turned the crossbow on his 21-year-old son, Jose, shortly after 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

"He tried to shoot him with the small crossbow, but Jose turned, and the arrow hit his ear," the Broward Sheriff's Office said. "Then his father began to choke him, but Jose struggled and managed to get away from his dad, who fled."

The Florida State University student did not report the attack, the statement said.

A friend who Maldonado called late on Tuesday afternoon alerted officials who tracked his Volvo to the hotel room he rented on Monday in Lake City, about 100 miles east of Tallahassee.

A Columbia County SWAT team found the man in the bathroom just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday. He had slit his throat.

(editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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