Posted on December 22, 2014

Florida Triple-Murder Suspect Is Arrested. What He’s Accused of Has Left a Church Absolutely Devastated.

Dave Urbanski, The Blaze, December 7, 2014

Authorities said they’ve arrested a Florida man suspected of killing his wife and another woman and then going to the church where his wife worked as the children’s director and fatally shooting the church’s pastor.

Andres “Andy” Avalos, 33, was arrested Saturday afternoon, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said. {snip}

Andres Avalos

Andres Avalos

The Bradenton Herald initially reported the arrest, noting that authorities suspect Avalos in Thursday’s killings of his wife, Amber Avalos; the pastor of Bayshore Baptist Church, James “Tripp” Battle, and a neighbor, Denise Potter.

Battle was fatally shot in the courtyard of his Bradenton church, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Potter and Amber Avalos were fatally shot earlier at the Avalos home, the paper added.

Battle’s father told the Times that Andres Avalos arrived at the church Thursday, spoke to Battle’s wife, Joy, the church secretary, and then got to Pastor Battle.

“Joy saw it, she witnessed it, and he pumped a number of rounds into Tripp,” Jimmy Battle told the Times.

More from the Times:

Amber Avalos, 33, had worked at the church for about nine months or a year, according to Battle. He said she had six kids and Tripp, 31, had tried to counsel her and her husband, who seemed paranoid. Battle said Andres Avalos ‘started getting these wild notions about every man that walked by’ his wife.


“We want the world to know what a wonderful man our son was,” Rhonda Battle told the Herald. “He loved this community. He wanted a church of diversity. He wanted people to love the Lord. If you didn’t want to know what the Bible said, you didn’t want to go to his church.”