MANATEE -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office is looking for a 33-year-old man they suspect killed his wife, another woman and the pastor of a Bradenton church on Thursday.
Sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow said Andres "Andy" Avalos, who earlier was wanted for questioning, is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who sees Avalos should immediately call 911, the sheriff's office said.
He is the suspect in the deaths of his wife Amber Avalos, 33, and Denise Potter, 46, found dead at the Avalos' home; and James "Tripp" Battle, 31, the lead pastor at Bayshore Baptist Church, 6502 14th St. W., where he was killed.
The church's website lists Amber Avalos as the church's nursery/children's director. Potter was an acquaintance of the Avaloses.
"We believe this all stemmed from a domestic situation," Bristow said. "This wasn't random."
Bristow said it appears the two women were killed at a residence in the 1200 block of 67th Street NW, in Northwest Bradenton, before Battle was slain at the church.
Deputies started looking for Avalos, 33, after the victims were found dead.
Avalos was last seen in the 6500 block of 14th Street West, Bradenton, driving a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban, gold in color, tag #484VTZ.
"At approximately 1:20 this afternoon, deputies responded to a shooting at a church located in the 6500 block of 14th Street West, Bradenton. When deputies arrived, they discovered one deceased victim," the sheriff's office said in a news release.
The pastor was found first, killed near a residence on the grounds of Bayshore Baptist Church.
"While at the scene, deputies learned of the possibility of other victim(s) at a residence at 1200 67th Street NW, Bradenton," the sheriff's office said.
"Deputies responded to that location and found two deceased persons."
Bristow said someone witnessed Battle's death, but the cause of the death for the two women was not clear.
Anyone with information about Avalos' whereabouts can contact the sheriff’s office, 941-747-3011, x2003, x2008, x2274; or other local enforcement.
Meanwhile, as of just before 4 p.m., officials lifted lockdowns at four Manatee County schools that were put in place as they searched for Avalos. The schools were Palma Sola and Miller elementaries, King Middle School and Manatee High School.
At around 1 p.m. Thursday, Michael Rantz was watching TV in his home across Avalos' residence when he heard a woman screaming.
"I walked out to check with her and find out if she's OK," he said.
Rantz said the woman was on her stomach by the curb.
Both the doors of Avalos' home and a red vehicle parked out front were open.
"She was very distressed," he said.
Tom Jacobs, who lives a few houses down from Avalos on 67th Street Northwest, said Avalos' kids often stop by to marvel his metal sculptures on his front yard. Two of the sculptures shaped as a shark and mana-ray are made of recyclable materials and old circuit boards.
"I encouraged the kids to drop by and so the dad came by to introduce himself because he said since I was being so nice to his kids and his kids liked me, he wanted to come and say thank you and to introducehimself."
Jacobs estimates that was about three years ago.
He said Avalos seemed like a hard-working, normal, laid back kind of guy.
"I never had any gut feeling of negativity or anything," Jacobs said of his neighbor.
Jacobs' wife Sheri, a social worker at Ida M. Stewart Elementary School, said the school was on a tentative lockdown Thursday.
She was shocked when she realized that the incident happened just down the street.
Jacobs described her neighborhood as laid back with little traffic.
"It's not a real close knit where everybody knows everybody but everybody waves and I don't feel uncomfortable," she said.
Detectives believe they have all of Avalos' children in their custody.
Leslie Howell, the property owner, arrived at the scene. She had vague suspicions over the last nearly three years that Avalos and his wife had problems.
"I suspected because of the condition of the house, " she said. "It made my eyebrows raise because I'm a guardian ad litem but it's not illegal to be a bad housekeeper."