Neighborhood reacts after Daniel Castrillon kills his children and himself

10:52 PM, Oct 28, 2013   |    comments
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SPRING HILL, Florida- In the middle of the upscale, but otherwise ordinary Trillium neighborhood, kids play after school and make-believe grave sites mark the upcoming Halloween holiday.

But at one home on Nodding Shade Drive, crime scene tape surrounded a real life crime scene, a somber reminder of how precious life is, and how quickly it can be taken away.

"It's very, very difficult anytime you have innocent children killed," said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis. "It's even worse when they're killed by someone who is supposed to be there to take care of them."

Monday night, parents were being forced to explain to their children, the unexplainable-- why Daniel Castrillon would take the life of his own two children, shooting them in their sleep before turning the gun on himself.

See Also: Father shoots son & daughter, turns gun on self

"What hurts the most is how do I tell my kids... they're not around anymore," said a tearful Jose Guerrero, a close friend of the family and possibly one of the last people to see the father and his two children alive.

Neighbors say they would often see eight-year-old Susana and seven-year-old Sabastian playing in the front yard. Now the two children are gone forever. Many of their friends and neighbors dropped off stuffed animals and flowers, at a memorial in front of the family home.

SEE ALSO: Castrillon's friends say he loved his kids

"It was very sad that someone would do that to their own children and then to themselves," said 13-year-old neighbor Taylor Meacham.

"It's hard to lose someone and to lose part of your family," said 11-year-old Emily Medley. "They were so young. They still had a long life to live."

The children's mother, 34-year-old Luz Jimenez was not home at the time of the shooting and is said to be staying with family friends.

The memorial in front of the family home is only expected to grow in the coming days as news spreads about what happened to the two innocent children. Grief councilors are on hand at the victims' elementary school this week, where many of their classmates are also struggling to deal with the loss of their two young friends.

Beau Zimmer, 10 News

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