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‘Violent, murdering beast:’ 3 killed in brutal attack on sleeping victims in Polk County, sheriff says

Shaun Runyon, 39, is being held without bond

Shaun Runyon, 39
Shaun Runyon, 39 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

DAVENPORT, Fla. – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd provided an update Monday on the arrest of a Pennsylvania man who is accused of brutally killing three people in Davenport on Saturday.

“It’s important to start out by telling you that this is a cold-blooded, calculated, violent, murdering beast,” Judd said referring to a photo of the suspect, 39-year-old Shaun Runyon.

The sheriff’s office released the name of the three victims who were killed in the Saturday morning attack; Kevin Lanusse, 41; Dewlon Donell, 46 and Gregory Dolezal, 44.

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Investigators said the three victims along with Runyon were contracted by Publix Headquarters in Lakeland for electrical work. Deputies said Runyon got into a fight with Lanusse that ended with the accused killer punching the other man in the face.

Runyon then left the job site and his co-workers assumed he went back to Pennsylvania, according to a news release. Investigator said Runyon actually drove to Georgia where he bought a crossbow and devised a plan to return to Florida and kill his three coworkers. He drove to Tampa, left his work vehicle at the Tampa International Airport, and rented a Nissan Versa, records show. While in Tampa, deputies said Runyon purchased a baseball bat and decided to use that in the attack rather than the crossbow.

“(On Saturday) he goes in through the back of the house (where he and the victims had been staying),” Judd said. “His intent, as he told us in his confession, was to kill all three victims.”

Judd said Runyon first killed Lanusse, beating the man in his sleep. Lanusse later died at the hospital, according to investigators. Donell was attacked second and beaten to death in his sleep, according to the sheriff.

Judd said Runyon then attacked Dolezal, but the man was able to fight back. Runyon then pulled a knife, stabbing the victim multiple times, according to the sheriff. Dolezal was found dead on the porch, records show.

Judd said Runyon confessed to attacks, claiming that he had been the victim of a sexual assault perpetrated by the victims.

“We gave him sexual battery tests,” Judd said. “There is absolutely, unequivocally zero evidence to confirm what our outrageous, violent beast of a human being did.”

At the time of his arrest, Runyon was on pretrial release following an arrest in May in Northampton County, Pennsylvania on charges of strangulation, endangering the welfare of a child, terroristic threats, 2 counts of recklessly endangering another person, assault, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and harassment

He now faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery. Runyon is being held without bond in Polk County.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.