Local News

SO: Uncle dies, nephew hurt as both shoot each other

—A 61-year-old Sebring resident, who called authorities Sunday night to tell them he had shot his nephew, was found dead when deputies and emergency personnel arrived at the scene, a Highlands County Sheriff’s Office news release states.

Thomas Markland, 122 Hill Court, Sebring, was found lying on the floor of the home with apparent gunshot wounds. He had no vital signs and EMS personnel pronounced him dead at the scene, states a news release from Sheriff Susan Benton.

His nephew, Phillip Markland, 28, same address, was found in the front yard, bleeding heavily from an apparent gunshot wound, Benton added.

Sheriff’s office detectives are working this case as a homicide, Benton added. “At this time it appears that Thomas Markland shot Phillip and Phillip shot Thomas; and no other parties were involved in this incident.,” she said.

Thomas Markland called dispatchers at about 11:16 p.m. Sunday. While speaking with him, the dispatcher heard what appeared to be gunshots in the background, she said.

Phillip Markland was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Hospital in critical condition, Benton said.

Anyone with information should contact detective Kim Gunn at 863-381-2050. Anyone with information who wants to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS(8477) or go to www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com