PALM BAY, FL – The St. Joseph Catholic community in Palm Bay, Florida, is in deep mourning over the loss of two of its members who were identified as murder victims during a shooting investigation in Palm Bay. According to the Diocese of Orlando, the victims are Father Robert “Bob” Hoeffner and his sister, Sally. The tragedy unfolded on Sunday.
A series of disruptions at a residence on Forgal Avenue NE led to a police call. This included property damage during a birthday party that was committed by Brandon Kapas, 24. The young man’s uncle warned in his 911 call that Kapas might be armed. Palm Bay Police officers arrived at the scene only to find Kapas fatally shooting his grandfather. Evidence emerged that Kapas was shot dead following an exchange of gunfire with the police. In the shootout, two officers were seriously injured.
During the investigation, inside Kapas’ vehicle, they found an impressive stockpile of weapons. The car was registered to Father Hoeffner, a retired priest. When the police arrived at the priest’s home in the northern part of the city, they discovered the bodies of Father Hoeffner and his sister, Sally.
The St. Joseph Catholic community members are still trying to cope with the shocking tragedy. Father Hoeffner, though retired, had recently celebrated 50 years in priesthood in 2023. Residents in the area recall being shaken up by the gunfire and the massive police presence.
The Orlando Diocese issued an official statement expressing condolences and prayers for the victims while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is currently investigating the incident. The motive is still unknown.