Florida man calls 911, says he shot his wife, children

Posted at 7:06 AM, December 3, 2021 and last updated 1:21 PM, July 17, 2023

CALLAHAN, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man who served as the music minister at a church is accused of fatally shooting his wife and two adult children, officials said.

William Conway Broyles called 911 on Wednesday to report what he had done, Nassau County Sheriff Bob Leeper said at a news conference. Broyles later told investigators that he shot his wife and children multiple times “just to make sure they didn’t suffer,” the sheriff said.

This Dec. 1, 2021, booking photo provided by the Nassau County Jail shows William C. Broyles, who is accused of murdering his wife and two children. (Nassau County Jail)

Broyles, 57, was unarmed and lying in the driveway of his home in Callahan when deputies arrived, Leeper said.

Broyles was charged with three counts of second-degree murder, news outlets reported. He appeared before a judge in Nassau County on Thursday morning and was denied bond. He told the judge he couldn’t afford a lawyer, so one will be appointed to represent him.

Broyles spoke clearly but appeared to twitch as he stood barefoot, gripping the bottom of his smock during court proceedings, First Coast News television station reported.

The sheriff said deputies found Candace Lynn Broyles, 57, dead in the living room and Cara Lynn Broyles, 27, in her bedroom, where they said her father shot her as she was waking up. Aaron Christopher Broyles, 28, was killed in his bedroom, and his door was broken down.

“It’s just a senseless act,” Leeper said. “When he was asked why he just didn’t shoot himself, he said he was too scared to do that.”

The family had no reported history of domestic problems, the sheriff said.

The Florida Times-Union reported that Broyles served as music minister at Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church. The church website describes him as being happily married for 30 years.