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Community leaders continue Florence machete attack investigation

District Attorney Chris Connolly credits a facility dog with calming children during questioning
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 10:50 AM CDT
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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Just over one week ago, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told WAFF 48 a man attacked his own family with a machete.

Since then, leaders in law enforcement said a knife, molotov cocktail, and gun were also used. WAFF 48 spoke with Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly to follow up on what’s happened since then. Connolly said the community is left reeling after a man named Kyle Seely allegedly attacked his family.

“Mr. Seely attacked his own family in our county by going into a home, firing some shots at his parents, ran outside and cut his brother with a machete, then ran into where his young children are and cut them with a knife,” Connolly said. “The incident started with him throwing a Molotov cocktail in his parents’ home. Then firing shots at them.”

The Sheriff’s Office reported the parents were not harmed, but the three children and Seely’s brother were hurt. Connolly said he’s happy to report all three children and the brother have since recovered.

“When you talk to people out in the community there is just a sense of shock that it happened in Lauderdale County, but at the same time you count your blessings that there are not three dead children,” he said.

It turns out, according to Connolly, Seely had two prior felonies.

“Part of the issue is if he’s entitled to bail,” Connolly said. “He was on a suspended sentence when he did this. So we filed motions to revoke those sentences and send him to prison for his prior burglary and escape. So number two if he is bondable in the new case then he is out in the community so we asked the judge to set a no bond on that.”

Leaders in the community are working to piece together this case with the help of Athens, a facility dog at One Place of the Shoals.

“The main purpose of a forensic interview with a child is to get factual information of the child in a family-friendly setting,” the District Attorney said. “So one of the things we have here to assist is Athens our facility dog. He has a calming effect.”

Connolly said Athens helped those three children.

“It’s shocking to think that a father did that to his own children. It is so fortunate though that no lives were lost. They will have to deal with their physical injuries now,” the district attorney said. “They will deal with the trauma of not only being injured, but having seen their siblings injured by their own father. So the emotional side they will be working through it for a long time,” Connolly said.

The dog’s handler said the job is to help whoever is in need, whether that’s a child or an adult going through a hard time.

“When a child is doing a forensic interview with a trained forensic interviewer then Athens can just be on the couch with that child they can pet him, and talk to him. He is just a comfort,” said Athen’s handler Elizabeth Moore.

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