Sheriff's Wife and a Deputy Killed in Panhandle Town Near Alabama Line

MARIANNA, Fla. (AP) - Investigators in the Florida Panhandle are trying to determine why two people killed the county sheriff's wife and a deputy at the law enforcement chief's house in Marianna. The city is located near the Alabama line.

Authorities believe the house of Jackson County, Florida, Sheriff John McDaniel was targeted.

According to the Florida state attorney's office, the shootings began around 5 p.m. yesterday when the sheriff's wife, Mellie McDaniel, arrived home. The sheriff was notified that "intruders entered the area around his home." Mellie McDaniel managed to contact the sheriff's office, who responded after she called.

Mellie McDaniel was shot moments later. The deputy was then shot.

Other officers, including the sheriff, arrived and killed the two suspects in an exchange of gunfire. The names of the deputy and the suspects have not been released.

It's not yet clear if the sheriff fired his weapon. He was not injured, but this was the second violent death for one of his relatives. In 1980, a confessed serial killer gunned down his father.

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