Florida man shot and killed his sister-in-law at a Father's Day gathering, cops say

sister in law
Source: Orlando County Jail, MEGA

Jun. 23 2021, Published 8:26 a.m. ET

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A Florida man has been arrested after allegedly killing his sister-in-law at a Father's Day gathering, police say.

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Michael Galarza, 46, was described as “anti-social” and rarely came to gatherings, according to the Orlando Sentinel. But, he attended the 2021 family gathering.

Galarza’s sister-in-law, Frances Arsenault, 30, was shot and killed at the party on June 20.

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Garlarza arrived at the Redwood Country Road home on June 19, entering the home without knocking and walking directly into the kitchen without warning.

According to the affidavit obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, he asked, “Where is the party at?”

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Witnesses told detectives he appeared to be looking for someone around the house, ignoring the other guests. He also kept his hands concealed “as if holding an object,” the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Galarza allegedly told a family member that he was there to “confront” someone who had abused another family member.

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Galarza refused to identify the person he was looking for, saying “you will find out soon enough,” according to the affidavit.


When Arsenault arrived at the Father’s Day party on Sunday evening, Galarza asked her to step outside.

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Soon after, witnesses said they heard several gunshots from the area where the two had been talking, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Family found Arsenault, who had been shot in the head, chest and hand. Investigators described her hand wound as indicating a “defensive posture,” like she was trying to block the gun barrel.

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Galarza drove away after the shooting, according to the affidavit.

Arsenault was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, where she died just before 3 a.m., according to the Orlando Sentinel.

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A relative who had been at a different family gathering that night told police Galarza called him around 9:20 p.m., speaking erratically and urging the relative to tell authorities about the alleged abuse he said Arsenault had perpetrated, offering to provide evidence.

The affidavit does not make clear whether authorities believe the abuse actually occurred.

Galarza was charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail at the Orange County Jail.


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