‘Blood coming from under the front door’ leads to 2 dead brothers, Florida cops say

A trail of blood emerging from the front door of a Florida home led deputies to two dead brothers, and a relative half their age is the accused killer, investigators say.

The bodies of James McKinley Barber, Sr., 61, and Wesley Barber, 62, were discovered Friday, Feb. 16, at a home in Largo, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Largo is west of Tampa.

James McKinley Barber, Jr., 28, is accused of shooting the two men — his father and uncle — as the family was preparing to go on vacation, officials said. Wesley Barber was visiting Florida from Shepherdsville, Kentucky, as part of the vacation plan, officials said.

“Family members grew concerned due to both (victims) failing to show for a family vacation,” the sheriff’s office said.

“When deputies arrived, they observed what appeared to be blood coming from under the front door of the residence. Deputies entered the home and located both James Sr. and Wesley deceased, both suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.”

James McKinley Barber, Jr., became a suspect after family members noted he has a “mental health history” and had access to a gun, officials said.

“Detectives were able to locate surveillance camera audio that captured the murders,” officials said. “At approximately 6:07 a.m., multiple gunshots can be heard. Afterward, a subject who was identified as James Jr. can be heard yelling.”

He fled the home before deputies arrived, officials said.

A manhunt for the suspect ended Saturday, Feb. 17, when he was arrested in adjacent Hillsborough County by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

He will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder, officials said.

A motive for the shootings has not been revealed, but detectives say “the incident appears domestic in nature.”

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