Father Took Specially Abled Son to the Hospital and Later Shot Son and Himself as Well

A father who struggled to care for his son took him to the hospital before shooting him and then turning the pistol on himself, according to police in Highlands County, Florida.

In an email to Law&Crime, the sheriff’s office identified the father as Joe E. Landon, 67, and the son as Noah Ryan Presley Landon, 23. Sheriff Paul Blackman and his office said they received 911 calls at 11:26 a.m. Thursday about a suspected gunshot at AdventHealth Hospital in Sebring. Deputies arrived three minutes later and discovered two males dead in what was described as a “mental health room.”

It found out that the father had alerted authorities earlier that morning about a confrontation with his son to get him to the hospital for treatment.

The sheriff, who described the younger man as “special needs,” stated that the 23-year-old was having a “rough day.” He was having a really terrible day.”

According to Blackman, the investigator on the scene indicated there was no evidence that the father was “thinking of something this drastic.”

“From the preliminary investigation, it appears a 66-year-old Sebring man brought his adult son to the hospital,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “Reportedly, the father was having difficulties with his son, who was being somewhat combative.”

The boy was admitted to the ER’s mental health unit, but his father then pulled out a revolver and fired at a wall in an apparent attempt to clear the area. There were two initial shots, according to Blackman.

“He then shot his son, who was lying on a bed, and then shot himself,” investigators reported. “Both males died at the spot. There were no other injuries.

Ben Tucciarone, a buddy, told Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS that when he heard, he knew Landon and his son were involved.

“I knew immediately,” Tucciarone added. “It’s very tragic. “Very tragic.”

He claimed that the father was struggling to care for both his son and himself due to medical issues.

“In recent weeks, he’s been struggling with his son — taking care of him — frustrated he wasn’t getting any help from outside sources,” added the person. “I think that was the only solution he had in his own mind.”

“Reach out to the state and get some help,” said Tucciarone, who has an adult son with a disability. “Don’t ever hurt your child.”

“You can always call 988 and get some help on the line, or you can call the sheriff’s office, and we’ll be more than happy to send someone there to try to work with you through that problem,” the sheriff added.

The hospital issued a statement regarding the tragedy:

Following the incident in the Emergency Room at AdventHealth Sebring late Thursday morning, we want to reassure everyone that no team members were injured. We continue to provide confidential mental health resources, and our chaplains are currently on-site to assist the AdventHealth Sebring community.

Team members from nearby AdventHealth facilities have also been called in to help employees who were working at the time of the event get home.

AdventHealth Sebring will continue to assist the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office with their investigation. The Emergency Room at AdventHealth Sebring has resumed regular operations.

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