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'Why': Neighbors concerned after man confesses to killing stepson

Cape Coral homicide
Posted at 5:49 AM, Sep 08, 2022

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A family argument led to a man admitting to shooting and killing his own stepson and people in a Cape Coral neighborhood are still shaken up.

Cape Coral Police (CCPD) said the shooting happened before 11 o'clock Wednesday night on Southwest 17th Terrace, near Skyline and Trafalgar. CCPD said 53-year- Gabriel Fernandez admitted to killing 20-year-old Brian McKellop Jr.

Inside the home, CCPD found McKellop Jr. in the hallway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in his chest and his back. When police arrived on the scene they found Fernadez standing in the driveway and admitted to pulling the trigger.

Cape Coral Police investigation
The Cape Coral Police Department is on the scene of an isolated incident at the 800-Block of SW 17th Street.

"As a mother, I can’t…I can’t think about something happening in my home like that," said Lydia Agosto, a neighbor who lives two houses down from where the shooting happened.

A mother who watched her husband shoot her own son says she is still shaken up from the killing.

"My heart pours for her, all morning I have been crying,” Agosto said emotionally.

She said that the neighbors she's talked with are deeply concerned and they all have one question...

“Why," Agosto questioned.

Cape Coral Police Sergeant Julie Green said this all started as a family argument last Wednesday night. She couldn't say what the argument was about but said it was originally stated with Fernandez and McKellop Jr's mother.

Gabriel Fernandez Booking Mug Shot
Booking mug shot of Gabriel Fernandez after he was arrested for shooting his stepson

“I got a loud thunderous bang on my door, my neighbor was really desperate. I answered the door and she was panicking," said Curtis Allen, a neighbor who lives right next door. "She said ‘my son, my son…my husband...he shot my son. My baby poor baby'.”

Responders did treat McKellop Jr. for his injuries on the scene and he was transported to the hospital where he died.

"If it’s the oldest one he just graduated last year and he just joined one of the military services. Army or the marines,” Allen explained.

“He was just a young boy, that waived to us every day,” Agosto said. "There is no reason at all for someone that young to go. As a mom, no mom wants their kids to go before them, so my heart bleeds for the mom that’s over there right now."

Briana Brownlee looked up Fernandez's criminal history. His record shows an arrest for battery and multiple drunk driving charges.

She asked Sgt. Green his condition of Fernandez after the shooting.

Gabriel Fernandez DUI mug shot
Previous mug shot of Gabriel Fernandez after being arrested for a DUI.

"Mr. Fernandez was intoxicated, I don’t know to what extent," Sgt. Green said.

Cape Coral Police did say they have been called to that house multiple times and it always involved Fernandez. He was on probation in the past and we asked police if he was allowed to have a firearm and if it was registered instead to him, CCPD could not provide that information at this time.