WINTER PARK, Fla. – A man suspected of slashing three people to death — two in Florida and one in Tennessee — was arrested in Winter Park, Florida, after barricading himself in a house for six hours, shooting at sheriff’s deputies and fighting a K-9 officer that found him hiding under a pool table, authorities said Tuesday.
The standoff and arrest Monday capped a multi-state manhunt for Stanley “Woo Woo” Mossburg, 35, who boasted that he’d killed more people, Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference.
Judd said he based that partly on comments Mossburg allegedly made to the housemate of the man and woman slain in Winter Park.
“Suspect Mossburg told our live victim, ‘I want to be a serial killer. I like killing people,'” Judd said. “Mossburg said the two victims in Winter Haven were number seven and eight, but his goal was to kill 11.”
Judd said investigators don’t have any evidence to support Mossburg’s claims. Only three deaths are linked to Mossburg, but investigators are intensely questioning him. Nobody has offered a motive for the violence.
“Stanley, without a doubt, is a spree killer,” Judd said. “We hope and pray there are no other victims; that he’s just bragging. We know that he killed three over two states and certainly he has the proclivity to kill others.”
Sheriff delivers a timeline
Mossburg is from Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he is well known to authorities, Judd said. He has more than 30 nonviolent, low- level charges in his background, a sheriff’s office news release said.
Authorities across the South started looking for him after a killing in Greeneville, Tennessee, about 70 miles from Knoxville.
Christopher Scott Short’s body was found October 2 outside Celebrity Coin Laundry, according to a news release from the Greeneville police department posted on Facebook. Mossburg was identified as the suspect and charged with murder, robbery and kidnapping.
The news release didn’t provide details about how Short died. Judd said he was slashed.
Mossburg stole Short’s truck and drove to Spartanburg, where his sister bought him a bus ticket to Orlando, Judd said. Short’s truck was found at a scrapyard in Spartanburg and Mossburg apparently stole another truck in Seffner, Florida, Judd said.
On October 11, Polk County authorities received information that Mossburg was pawning items in the area and started looking for him, Judd said. On Sunday, October 13, home security video captured Mossburg ringing a doorbell at a Winter Haven home on 16th Street, but the homeowner ordered him off the property, Judd said.
The manhunt for Mossburg intensified about 6 p.m. Monday.
That’s when a man called 911 to report someone had killed his two housemates and held him captive for about 14 hours inside the home the three shared, the news release said. The home was next to the house where Mossburg rang the doorbell.
‘He slashed and murdered both of these victims’
The caller said he came home from work around 10:30 p.m. Sunday to find Mossburg had killed his male housemate, leaving his body in the master bedroom, and tied his female housemate to a chair, but had not killed her yet, Judd said. Mossburg tied up the man, Judd said, and during the night killed the female housemate, Judd said.
“He slashed and murdered both of these victims,” Judd said.
Mossburg untied the third housemate because he’d cooperated, Judd said. Between noon and 1 p.m. Monday, Mossburg left the house in the female victim’s SUV, saying he’d return to “deal with the bodies,” and warned the man not to call police, Judd said.
At 6 p.m. the man ran to a neighbor’s and called 911, Judd said. Police warned residents to stay inside and beware an armed and dangerous suspect.
Police searching the neighborhood found the still-warm SUV nearby around 9 p.m. Shots were fired at officers from a house, SWAT teams arrived and a standoff of more than six hours began.
“From approximately 10:30 p.m. on Monday until 5:10 a.m. on Tuesday, the SWAT team members summoned Mossburg via a PA system, and inserted chemical agent into the house in an effort to get him to surrender,” the news release said.
“Not only did he refuse to surrender, he continued to shoot at the deputies. At 5:10 a.m., the SWAT mobile armored vehicle made entry into the garage, and deputies located Mossburg hiding under a pool table. A (Polk County Sheriff’s Office) K-9 apprehended Mossburg as he continued to refuse to surrender and fought with the dog.”
Deputies went inside the house and took Mossburg into custody. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for dog bites and booked into the Polk County Jail, the news release said. No deputies were reported being injured. The names of the Winter Haven victims have not been released.
The suspect’s first appearance in court is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday