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Brevard County: Brandon Kapas, Accused of Shooting and Killing 3 People, Is Then Shot and Killed After Wounding 2 Palm Bay Police Officers

Brevard County Sheriff's Office

Palm Bay - Wednesday January 31, 2024: Four people were shot dead in the City of Palm Bay in Brevard County Sunday afternoon, including the accused shooter himself, 24-year-old Brandon Kapas.

Authorities say Kapas first shot and killed a retired priest and the priest's sister. They believe he then went on to a family birthday party in the 400 block of Forgal Avenue NE where, they say, he killed his own grandfather.

Around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon Palm Bay Police arrived at the Kapas family home in response to a domestic disturbance call. Brandon Kapas refused to cooperate, Brandon's grandfather, William Kapas tried to intervene and calm the situation, said police. But Brandon shot and killed him too, and then fled.

A chase ensued, gunfire was exchanged and two Palm Bay police officers were shot and injured. Other pursing officers then shot and killed Kapas.

One of the wounded officers was released from the hospital Monday, the other underwent successful surgery, according to Palm Bay Police Chief Mario Augell.

Investigators later found what they described as an arsenal of different rifles and handguns in a vehicle Kapas had been driving. After tracking the registration of the car that Kapas had used to store his weapons, detectives found the retired priest, Robert Hoeffner, and his sister Sally, shot dead in their home.

Police believe that Hoeffner and his sister were killed shortly before Kapas went to his grandfather’s home for the birthday party.

Hoeffner retired in 2016 after serving at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Palm Bay detectives are trying to determine the connection between Kapas, Hoeffner, and his sister. Authorities have not yet said what they think the motive was.

“What I can tell you is that our officers’ actions ... prevented something even more tragic and devastating from happening,” said Chief Mariano Augello during a Monday news conference.