Published February 22, 2013
A Miami father and veteran pilot gunned down his entire family Wednesday night, killing his 11-year-old son before taking his own life, the Miami Herald reported.
Police believe Carlos Zuniga, 45, shot his wife and two young children because he was depressed and under financial strain, according to the newspaper.
Zuniga's son, Stefan, died from gunshot wounds. His wife, 43-year-old Michelle Zuniga, and daughter, 14-year-old Lauren, remain in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The newspaper reported that the couple had no history of domestic violence. But family friends told the newspaper that Zuniga appeared to be under financial stress and planned to close the family's hot-air balloon company.
"Michelle and the kids were great people. She is an absolute sweetheart. I have nothing but good things to say about her," friend Colin Graham told the newspaper. "Stefan looked just like his father. Almost identical, like a mini-version of him."
Zuniga was reportedly working as an aviation safety inspector at the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA recently announced it would be making major cuts, though it's unknown whether Zuniga was among those affected. Prior to the FAA, Zuniga worked as a pilot for an international packaging company and Miami Air, according to the newspaper.