PBSO deputy who killed himself is brother of man who jumped from WPB building
By ALLYSON BIRD Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy - whose flamboyant brother killed his girlfriend before leaping to his death a year ago - faced potential manslaughter charges himself and Monday night torched his car and apartment before shooting himself in the head.
West Palm Beach police found 38-year-old Samuel Peixoto's body on the living room floor inside the Windward Apartments shortly before midnight yesterday, with a handgun lying nearby. Peixoto poured gasoline on his car and inside his apartment before setting both on fire and then shot himself with a Glock that was not his department-issued gun, according to West Palm Beach Police Capt. Pat Maney.
Peixoto's brother, Helder "Sonny" Peixoto, was a former Massachusetts transit cop who jumped from a West Palm Beach condominium in May. Police believe that suicide occurred just after Helder Peixoto killed his ex-girlfriend, Amity Kozak, with a hammer.
Just weeks ago, and just months after another questionable shooting, Samuel Peixoto fired on a motorist during a traffic stop on Forest Hill Boulevard after the passenger allegedly slashed him in the hand.
Marino Sarbelio Ramos, 35, died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to sheriff's officials. Peixoto was treated at Wellington Regional Medical Center for scratches and puncture wounds.
The sheriff's office initially said Peixoto acted in self-defense but its criminal investigations and internal affairs divisions had recently determined the shooting "do not transpire as it was originally reported by the deputy," Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Tuesday. Investigators planned to take their findings to a grand jury, and Peixoto would have likely faced charges of manslaughter and evidence tampering charges, Bradshaw said.
Peixoto was placed on administrative leave just months earlier from another shooting that remains under investigation as well. No one was injured in that incident.
The criminal investigations and internal affairs findings will not be complete until next week, Bradshaw said.
Investigators believe Peixoto set fire to his car and apartment prior to shooting himself Tuesday night. West Palm Beach Police continue to investigate Samuel Peixoto's death at the apartments at 1441 Brandywine Road, off Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in the Villages.
Peixoto joined the sheriff's office in April 2006, has been on paid leave since the shooting. His personnel file contains no disciplinary actions and three letters of praise.