A detailed timeline of events were revealed Thursday afternoon by Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger during a news conference regarding the case of an April 17 triple murder-suicide.

  • Henry Brown killed wife, 2 children, self on April 17, 2016
  • Deputies: Brown hid a GPS tracking device on wife's car, followed her the day of the killing
  • Left voicemails to father, father-in-law the same day

Over a span of about three hours, Henry Brown stabbed his estranged wife, Chericia, 15 times outside of a Chili's restaurant in Lake Mary, ran over her and two bystanders who jumped in to help the woman, fired several shots at law enforcement inside the lobby of a hospital where his wife was transported, and then fatally shot his two young children — ages 1 and 4 — and himself inside a pickup truck along Interstate 4.



Deputies said they have never seen a man so determined to kill someone.

Investigators said Brown lied, manipulated and plotted to kill Chericia Brown for months. They said he even asked his current girlfriend twice to murder her, but she said no.

"We uncovered shocking information about methodical steps that Henry Brown took that evening in order to hunt down and kill his wife," Seminole Sheriff Don Eslinger said Thursday.


Deputy fired for failing to report incident prior to murder-suicide

The Seminole Sheriff's Office says Henry Brown would have likely been wearing a GPS monitor had a deputy properly reported an injunction violation nine days before the murder-suicide.

Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger said Thursday that Deputy Chad Tavenner was fired because he neglected to fill out a report for an April 8 protective order violation involving Brown and Chericia.

Just over a week before Henry Brown's rampage, his estranged wife, Chericia, called 911 to report that Brown had violated a protective injuction by harassing her at a day care and disabling her car, the Sheriff's Office said. Investigators said Tavenner and another sergeant were called out to help. But Tavenner never filed a report.

A Sheriff's Office internal report says Tavenner then lied to a superior to cover it up.

Stabbing of Chericia Brown

The new timeline given by the Sheriff's Office shows Henry Brown asked a friend to drive him to the Lake Mary Chili's the night of April 17.

Brown knew his wife, Chericia Brown, was there, because he had hidden a GPS tracking device under her car and was following her all day, Sheriff's investigators said.

Deputies say he hid inside of her car's trunk and waited for her to come outside. He jumped out of the trunk and stabbed her 15 times.

Two restaurant diners saw her lying in the parking lot and came to help. But Henry Brown hadn't left yet. 

Deputies were dispatched. Dash-cam video shows the good Samaritans and Chericia Brown as the deputies drove into the parking lot.

Then, deputies say Brown threw his friend out of his car and took off, plowing into the people trying to help his wife and running her over. 

Law enforcement quickly suspected Brown and sent a squad to his home, but there was no sign of Henry or his two children. 

While Brown was still on the run, he made two calls. One was an upbeat call to his father wishing him a happy anniversary. The other was a vulgar voicemail for his father-in-law about Chericia.

"He said, 'I did what I did. I let her have it,'" said Lt. Mark Pergola with the Sheriff's Office.

From there, Brown went to pick up his two children from a babysitter. But the babysitter could tell something was off and called 911 after learning that authorities were searching for a violent man in the area. 

Law enforcement had even more reason to believe Brown was armed and dangerous. The Sheriff's Office said Brown purchased a gun in 2008, but he never surrendered it when he was ordered by a judge. His wife was granted an injunction of protection in January, which meant Henry could have no weapons or any contact with her. 

Good Samaritan's husband speaks out

When Chericia Brown was stabbed, a nurse and a paramedic came outside to help her.

However, moments later that nurse, Renata Vitkute, and an Orange City firefighter/paramedic became victims too.

Josh Ziss and wife Renata were out to dinner a few weeks ago in Lake Mary, when they witnessed Henry Brown stab Chericia. 

“I know that myself and two other people were out there, chased him away from her,” Ziss said.

“My wife she, went out, even though I kind of told her not too,” Ziss added.

But new dashcam video shows Brown driving back around, running over his wife and two good Samaritans who were trying to help her.

“I didn’t even know that my wife was there helping the lady at the time because I had just chased the guy around the back. So I didn’t know that my wife was out there and involved in the car accident until it was too late,” Ziss recalled.

“You’re never wrong if you’re doing the right thing,” Ziss said, adding that he and his wife would do it again, despite the danger.

“Yes, and I think definitely my wife would say yes. My wife is a medical professional and she sacrifices daily for people that are sick and are hurt,” Ziss said.

Renata was treated and released from the hospital. 

The paramedic survived but is expected to have a long road to recovery. 

“To me, my wife is a hero and I think the paramedic the same thing. Anybody that went out there to try to help in this situation is a hero,” Ziss said.

The ordeal is still too emotional for Ziss’ wife to talk about publicly.  However, Ziss and his wife credit God with saving their lives. 

Shootout at the hospital

Chericia Brown was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital. Henry Brown showed up in the emergency department, and body camera video documented a shootout between Brown and law enforcement.

The shootout began inside the hospital, then moved outside as officers chased Brown.

As the situation calmed down, officers tried to explain what happened.

“It’s going to be related to county’s knifing call that was brought in for trauma," one officer is heard saying. "Apparently, he’s the suspect, and he came back."

Brown was able to get away to I-4, where investigators say he killed himself as deputies approached his vehicle. His two young children were found dead inside.

Interactive timeline

Source: Seminole County Sheriff's Office