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Man Faces Attempted Murder Charges After Shooting Two People and Setting Mobile Home on Fire

LECANTO (CITRUS) – Last night RNRF reported a double shooting and structure fire in the area of Gilbert Terrace. Officials now say a suspect is behind bars – charged with attempted murder. 

According to Officials, Sheriff’s Deputies to 7089 Gilbert Terrace around 4:00 p.m. after receiving reports that two people had been shot and another was struck with a shovel. All three victims attempted to drive themselves to a local hospital but deputies caught up with them and call for EMS.

61-year-old Melinda Ward told deputies that an unknown man came to her home and hit her in the arm and the face with a shovel. Ward says the suspect then shot her two sons, Jeremiah Ward, 33, and Joseph Ward, 37.  Jeremiah suffered two gunshot wounds to the head and Joseph had been shot in the arm. Ward further stated that the suspect was dousing her home with gasoline before leaving to seek medical attention.

Minutes later, Fire Rescue received reports of a mobile home fire at the same location and upon arrival, they discovered the home to be fully engulfed in flames.

Through their investigation, Detectives discovered that 59-year-old William Gonsisko of 7224 S. Gilbert Terrace was their prime suspect. After interviewing him, detectives obtained a search warrant and found several items linking him to the scene of the shooting.

Officials say before the incident occurred, Gonsisko was seen carrying her birdcage with Ward’s bird inside, and a glass of clear liquid.  When the two sons got out of the vehicle to confront the suspect, an altercation ensued and both male victims were shot.  It was then that the suspect hit Ward with the shovel.  Ms. Ward stated that she could smell what appeared to be gasoline and saw the suspect dousing items with the liquid.

After Fire Rescue officials extinguished the blaze, several items from the altercation were found at the premises including the shovel and a pistol.

Gonsisko was arrested and taken to the Citrus County Detention Center, where he is charged with three counts of Attempted Murder and held without bond.  Possible arson and armed robbery charges are also pending.

“This case was extensive with a lot of moving parts,” says Sheriff Mike Prendergast.  “I’m proud of our team who moved quickly in making sure nearby residents were safe and after intense investigation located and arrested the suspect without incident. They did an outstanding job.”

At this time, Melinda Ward and Joseph Ward have been treated and released for their injuries.  Jeremiah Ward remains at the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds to the head.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.


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  • That French braid is gonna get tugged for the rest of his life. Yes, that’s a prison-rape joke.

    Saturday, 21 October 2017, 6:02 pm
  • Sounds to me like he’d had enough of that damn bird!

    Thursday, 19 October 2017, 4:13 pm
  • I know the guy, and he never seemed like anyone that would do anything irrational. A great husband and father. Totally Surprised.

    Thursday, 19 October 2017, 1:15 pm
  • How did the bird get outside and why was he taking it back inside? It looks the bird attacked his ear. Also, did he bring the shovel with him–you don’t hear many stories about a strange man walking into someone’s house with a bird, cage, shovel, gun and gasoline.

    Thursday, 19 October 2017, 6:16 am
  • William Gon-SIKO………….

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 10:33 pm
  • his braid was too tight! lol

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 9:35 pm
  • This sounds like a scene from a halloween horror movie. WTF do these monsters come from?

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 8:09 pm
  • What happened to the bird?

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 6:37 pm
    • Man hit lady with shovel, shoots 2 people and all u got is what happened to the bird??. Here, a buzzard ate it, after he plucked it’s feathers to stick in his nasty braided hair. Makes as much sense as the article. No offense Tom, just the facts as I see em. Thx for the article, kinda like a Stephen King story lol. Good job leo’s keep this nut locked sway.

      Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 10:20 pm
  • I don’t get the bird cage and the glass of clear liquid…which they say was gasoline……how does the bird cage get into this picture?

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 6:34 pm
    • I agree VERY CONFUSING, don’t suppose we will ever know. Got to be more, did he steal the bird and cage? Wierd indeed

      Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 10:14 pm
  • This was really hard to follow..
    And, judging by the age of the victims, and the odd rage, it seems like there’s alot more to the story, like a drug debt or deal gone awry

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 6:17 pm
  • WHY IS HE STILL ALIVE ???????????????

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 3:40 pm
  • It sounds like a BIG part of this story is missing…….there just has to be more!!! Someone explain please

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 3:35 pm
    • Unfortunately we will probably never know the whole story. Tom doesn’t do in depth follow ups very well, or often.

      Thursday, 19 October 2017, 5:13 pm
  • Did they know the guy or what? I’m confused as to why this man did all of that.

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 2:29 pm

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