Triple murder-suicide in Casselberry leaves four dead, including 15-year-old

51-year-old man shot his wife, mother-in-law and stepson before turning the gun on himself, police say

The suspect and victims in a Casselberry triple murder-suicide have been identified by police, alongside further details into the investigation.

CASSELBERRY, Fla. – Four people, including a teenager and the shooter, are dead after a triple murder-suicide in Casselberry Tuesday morning, according to police.

Officers, along with Seminole County deputies, said they were called to an apartment located at 2333 Coawood Court around 7:15 a.m. after a man called 911 saying he had been shot.

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Officers and deputies found four people with gunshot wounds inside the apartment: Carlos Soto, 51; Zuleida Avila, 43; Mileida Avila, 75; and a 15-year-old boy, according to investigators.

Police said that none of the four survived.

Investigators said they suspect Soto of shooting the other three victims — his wife, mother-in-law and stepson — before turning the gun on himself. Soto was taken to a local hospital and succumbed to his injuries.

Hear a neighbor’s call to 911 in the media player below:

Family members told News 6′s Jerry Askin that the two women were the suspected shooter’s wife, Zuleika Avila; mother-in-law, Mileida Avila; and a stepchild, Victor Araujo. Seminole County Public Schools confirmed that Araujo attended Lake Howell High School.

The family of the victims identify them as Mileida Lopez (left), Victor Araujo (center) and Zuleika Lopez (right). (Ellamim Albornoz)

Casselberry police say they had received a call June 9 about concerns about a gun being in the home, but police said there was no sign of issues, as Zuleika Avila told police she hadn’t seen any firearms and hadn’t been threatened by her husband.

During the investigation, police said they were able to confirm Soto wasn’t in possession of the firearm he used to commit the murder-suicide as of June 9.

The gun was purchased legally at a gun store June 2, though Soto didn’t pick it up from the store until June 10, investigators reported.

Records indicate police had difficulty communicating with Zuleika Avila due to language barriers, which may have resulted in miscommunications, though a Spanish-speaking officer was later able to re-interview her and provide legal options.

Four people, including a child and the shooter, are dead after a murder-suicide in Casselberry Tuesday morning, according to police.

“We’re clueless as to why this incident happened, we don’t have a history of violence involving these individuals,” said Casselberry Police Chief Larry Krantz.

Police records show two calls to the home — one in 2020, where Soto allegedly called police, saying he didn’t want to be with his wife any longer. Krantz said there was an incident a few months later where the wife claimed Soto was following her because he was jealous and accusing her of infidelity.

Ellamin Albornoz said three of the victims killed were her cousins.

Four people, including a teenager and the shooter, are dead after a murder-suicide in Casselberry Tuesday morning, according to police.

“We feel bad, bad because we warned her and we would always look out for her and we would actually be cautious around him,” Albornoz said.

News 6 learned that loved ones of the mother, grandmother and stepson killed in the incident said they’re working to raise money for funeral services and to transport their bodies back to Venezuela. According to the family, the grandmother was visiting from Venezuela.

The police chief said there may have been two unreported incidents of physical domestic violence, according to witnesses — but nothing reported to law enforcement.

Krantz urged people who may be victims of domestic violence in the community to call for help. Florida’s Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-500-1119. You can also reach out to domestic violence centers in your county, including Harbor House of Central Florida.

About the Authors:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and 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.

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.