A 65-year-old man called authorities Sunday night to report he had shot his nephew but was found dead in his house when deputies arrived at the scene, according to a Highlands County Sheriff’s Office news release. The nephew was found in the front yard, wounded and bleeding heavily.
Thomas Markland of 122 Hill Court, Sebring, was found on the floor of his home with apparent gunshot wounds. He had no vital signs and EMS personnel pronounced him dead at the scene. His nephew, Phillip Markland, 28, of the same address, was found bleeding in the front yard and was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Hospital in critical condition.
Sheriff’s office detectives are working this case as a homicide, Sheriff Susan Benton said in the press release. “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.
It was noted that Thomas Markland called dispatchers at about 11:16 p.m. Sunday. The man was talking with dispatchers when what sounded like gunshots were heard in the background.
Anyone with information about the shootings 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 .