Anthony Giancola of Lealman, Florida was arrested on Saturday after he was accused of attacking eleven people, killing two, according to news reports. Giancola, 45, was booked into on two counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted morder. It is not yet clear whether he has qualified for bail bond or hired a private criminal defense lawyer.
According to news reports, Giancola has a background in education in the area. He began his carreer in area schools at a Tampa middle school in 1991, rising through the ranks to lead the Dorothy Thomas Exceptional Center of the Hillsborough School District in 1991. The school reportedly teaches at-risk children fro kindergarden up until high school, and it was there that Giancola became involved in an award-winning program called Kids and Canines, which allows children to help train assistance dogs. He was then promoted once more, this time to the principle position at Van Buren Middle School.
Giancola lost his job after he allegedly attempted to purchase crack cocaine from an undercover officer at Van Buren Middle School in December 2006, just a few months after he started at the school. He pled guilty to charges of possession of crack cocaine and marijuana and purchasing crack cocaie, for which he was sentened to a year behind bars. He was also dismissed from the school district at that time, according to news reports. Ginacola was forthcoming about his problems, telling reporteds in 2007, “I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people. I need to get my life together. And then maybe from that, other people will learn not to make the mistakes I’ve made.”
Giancola now stands accused of attacking eleven people, killing two. The alleged rampage, which took place on Friday, started at 10:45 a.m. at a home for people with hearing impairments. Giancola allegedly entered the home and stabbed four of its’ residents with a knife. One of the victims, 27-year-old Justin Lee Vand, was pronounced dead at the scene, and another 59-year-old Mary Anne Allis, was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after the attack. It remains to be seen whether the families of the victims plan on pressing charges against Giancola. Also injured in the attack were 25-year-old Danielle Whitney Gilbert and 44-year-old Janice Denise Rhoden.
After the attacks at the hearing impaired home, Giancola allegedly drove to Kenvins Motel in Pinellas Park. He allegedly attacked Kanu and Indiranden Patel, the couple who owns the motel, with a hammer. Both victims were taken to a local hospital, where Kanu, 57, was described as in critical condition. It remains unclear why Giancola allegedly targeted the couple and the persons at the group home.
Following this alleged attack, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Giancola allegedy drove up to a Pinellas Park home and asked the people there where he could find women. When he was told to leave, he allegedy drove off, then returned and crashed his vehicle into the home’s porth. Four people who were on the porth were injured in the crash; three went to a local hospital. Their conditions are currently unknown.