Girl, 8, dies week after Coast Guardsman shoots family and himself

McKenna Presnar, 8, the only member of her family to initially survive her father’s deadly outburst of gunfire on Dec. 16, 2018, died on Christmas Day.


By TONYA ALANEZ | Sun Sentinel | Published: December 26, 2018

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — Young McKenna Presnar was the only member of her family to survive her father’s deadly outburst of gunfire more than a week ago.

Her mother died. Her little brother died. And then her father, a U.S. Coast Guard serviceman based in Miami Beach, took his own life. That was Dec. 16.

Early Tuesday, the 8-year-old girl also died, Miami Dade police said.

The critically wounded child had clung to life until Christmas morning.

In an apparent act of domestic violence, Petty Officer First Class John Presnar opened fire on his family before 1 a.m. that Sunday, police said.

It happened in their suburban home near Homestead, west of Florida’s Turnpike and on the far southern edge of Miami.

The 44-year-old had argued with his wife, Gretchen, 39, before turning violent, according to police.

“When the subject started shooting, his wife told her mother to run out of the house and call for help,” Miami-Dade police said the afternoon after the killings.

When police got to 11441 SW 242nd Lane, Gretchen and 7-year-old John Jr., were dead.

McKenna was also shot, but found alive. Rescuers took her to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

Presnar, an electronics technician, served in the Coast Guard since 2001.

©2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
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