Seth Settle reportedly shot and killed his mother Thursday after she ordered him to stop smoking cigars in his bedroom, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, according to Fox 13 Tampa Bay.
The incident occurred shortly after Settle’s father left work on what seemed like a normal weekday.
Shortly after 9:30 a.m., though, he had received a call that his wife had been taken to a hospital.
Authorities were first alerted to the incident by Settle’s 24-year-old brother, who found his mother collapsed in their Lake Wales home.
Authorities did not immediately suspect foul play because there reportedly wasn’t any blood found in the home or obvious injuries to the victim’s body.
But by the time Settle’s father had picked up his daughter from school and returned home, he was informed that his wife had died.
After Settle’s mother had been pronounced dead, a nurse inspected the body and found what appeared to be puncture wounds.
Judd said the victim had been shot in the heart, stopping it immediately and staunching the flow of blood.
Settle fled but later confessed to investigators that he had shot his mother.
Judd said Settle claimed he was depressed and had been holding a gun to his own head before his mother entered his bedroom.
He claimed the gun accidentally discharged when he went to lower the weapon.
But the sheriff said authorities believe he shot his mother out of anger.
Judd reportedly said every indication pointed to the 52-year-old mother as “the most wonderful mom in the world” and said the family was regarded as nice and hard-working.
“The only people that are more shocked and stunned by this in law enforcement are the immediate family. No one could see this coming,” Judd said.
“He fled past her — didn’t help, didn’t call 911,” the sheriff added. “I can’t begin to tell you the horror of this event.”
Settle was charged with second-degree murder, tampering with evidence, five counts of providing false information to law enforcement and discharging a firearm on a residential property, the local news outlet reported.