GARDENDALE, Ala. (AP) — A man believed to have fatally shot three relatives, including an ex-wife who had taken out a protective order against him, killed himself Wednesday as officers closed in to arrest him in Florida, police said.
Kenneth Dion Lever, 52, took his own life after deputies spotted him in a parking lot, but it was not immediately clear how, said Deb Henley, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office in Escambia County, Florida.
WPMI-TV quoted Escambia County Sheriff’s office spokesman Maj. Andrew Hobbs as saying that Lever shot himself in the parking lot of a credit union. Lever had past addresses in Pensacola, Florida, and Santa Rosa County near where he died.
Authorities had been searching for Lever since three people were shot to death hours earlier at a mobile home park in the Birmingham suburb of Gardendale.
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Police said the dead included Lever’s ex-wife Dana Reeves Lever, 50, who had filed court papers accusing the man of stalking and harassing her.
The shootings happened just weeks before Kenneth Lever was scheduled to go on trial on child sexual abuse charges in Pennsylvania.
Police Chief Mike Walker identified the other shooting victims as Dana Lever’s sister Bonnie Reeves Foshee, 65, and Bonnie Foshee’s husband, 69-year-old Don Austin Foshee. The couple lived in Fultondale.
A judge issued an order in December telling Lever to stay away from Dana Lever and their daughter, a juvenile, after Dana Lever claimed he was stalking and harassing them, court records show.
Separately, court records in York County, Pennsylvania, show that Lever had been scheduled to go on trial on sexual-abuse charges there on Sept. 11.
Lever was arrested in 2015 on charges that he sexually molested a young girl for more than five years ending in August 2010, sometimes forcing a young boy to participate in the assaults, the records show. Lever had been free on bond awaiting a court date.
A hearing in the Alabama case had been scheduled for July 26, a court docket showed.
Walker declined comment on court cases involving Lever.