2 adults, 1 teen killed at Osceola apartment complex, sheriff says

Suspect, Kevin Christopher Torres, now in custody, sheriff confirms

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A triple homicide investigation prompted a large law enforcement presence at an Osceola County complex Tuesday morning, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

At a news conference Tuesday, Sheriff Marcos Lopez said the suspect in the investigation, a 41-year-old man, is in custody after barricading himself in a potentially stolen car in Orange County, threatening “suicide by cop.”

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Kevin Christopher Torres was arrested Tuesday afternoon after an hourslong standoff with Orange County deputies, which started around 11:15 a.m. and ended after 2 p.m. at a gas station parking lot on Rio Grande Avenue.

Lopez previously said Torres opened fire on Orange County deputies; however, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office later clarified that the man only fired one shot and it was not directed at law enforcement.

A News 6 photographer captured the person of interest being wheeled into the ambulance on a stretcher. (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

He was taken to a local hospital “to be treated for injuries not related to his interaction with law enforcement,” according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the triple homicide investigation took place at two separate scenes, near an apartment or condo complex at Royal Palm Drive and Gardener Lane, east of Kissimmee near East Lake Tohopekaliga. Lopez added they found one body found at a different building than the other two victims.

Lopez previously said the three victims were believed to be two adults and a child, but said later learned they were two adults and one teen.

Investigators said they do not believe Torres is related to the three victims he fatally shot, identified as 43-year-old Justin Atkinson, 16-year-old Calvin Atkinson and 25-year-old Anthony Mull.

While Lopez said the suspect has a history of mental health and drug use issues, he says this crime “wasn’t (the result of) a mental health issue.”

Kevin Christopher Torres was arrested Tuesday afternoon, according to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. (Osceola County Sheriff's Office)

Witnesses watched as the standoff, and Torres’s eventual arrest, unfolded.

“I’m just like, ‘What’s going on?’” witness Lynette Smith said.

From Sky 6, we saw Torres first drive the vehicle forward a little before being cornered by deputies. He eventually surrendered and walked toward deputies, taking off his shirt, before being placed on a stretcher and taken into custody.

People nearby said they were asked to briefly evacuate during the incident.

“They told us to back up because it’s not safe for us to be here,” one witness said. “The man locked himself in the car.”

As a precaution, Orange County Public Schools said Catalina Elementary and Memorial Middle, both located near the standoff scene, were briefly placed under a “secure” status, meaning no one was allowed on or off campus.

He is currently facing grand theft auto and armed burglary charges.

Detectives said there are currently no outstanding suspects.

No other information is available at this time. This is an ongoing investigation.

Check back for updates.

Osceola Sheriff's Office at the scene (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)
Mobile Command Center at scene (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.