Florida man, 59, ‘depressed from coronavirus’ shoots dead his wife and son, 21, and attempts to kill his other son before turning himself in
- Smith Rivera charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder
- Rivera is accused of shooting and killing his wife, Jodi, and son Matthew, 21, and firing on another son
- Rivera’s sister told news outlets her brother has been depressed because of coronavirus pandemic
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A Florida man has been arrested after deputies say he shot and killed his wife and grown son, and fired on his other son, before confessing to the double murder.
A sister of the suspect, identified as 59-year-old Smith Rivera, a married father-of three, told local media outlets that her brother has been depressed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in the 11600 block of Darlington Drive after receiving a call about a shooting at 1.15am on Sunday.
Smith Rivera, 59 (left), has been charged with allegedly shooting and killing his wife, Jodi, and their 21-year-old son, Matthew (right)
Deputies arrived at the family’s home in Orlando on Sunday to find the mother and son dead
At the residence they discovered the bodies of Rivera’s wife, 57-year-old Jodie Rivera, and the couple’s 21-year-old son, Matthew Rivera. Both had been shot to death.
While deputies were gathering evidence at the scene, a white Kia Soul pulled up to the house.
Smith Rivera emerged from the vehicle and told the deputies, ‘I shot my wife.’
The man was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, according to news outlets.
An arrest report said Rivera also fired a gun at a third person, believed to be his one of his two other sons, who was able to escape unharmed.
Mayra Berriel, Smith’s sister, told WESH-TV her brother had been drinking and struggled to cope with his depression brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rivera returned to the crime scene and told deputies, ‘I shot my wife.’ One of the couple’s three sons wrote on Facebook the 56-year-old woman was a cancer survivor
Deputies collected multiple spent shell casings inside the family’s home and in a driveway, and seized a box of ammunition that was found inside a bathroom where Smith was seen entering armed with a gun.
According to her Facebook page, Jodi Rivera worked as a realtor. Her final post from April 2 was a photo of her with the caption: ‘staying home, saving lives.’
Smith Rivera’s sister said her brother has a problem with alcohol and that he has been depressed because of COVID-19
Her son Matthew was a student at Southwestern University. One of his two surviving brothers paid tribute to him on Facebook, writing: ‘Love you Matthew, you were always the best one of us!’
Jodi and Smith Rivera’s other son also took to Facebook to mourn the deaths of his family members, revealing that his mother was a breast cancer survivor.
‘Mom I will be everything I promised you and much more … I love you so so so much,’ the young man wrote in an anguished post on Monday.
Online records indicate that Smith Rivera has a prior criminal record dating back to at least 2009, which includes an August 2017 arrest on charges of battery, disorderly intoxication and threatening a public servant.