Double homicide in West Palm Beach, victims identified

SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH - Residents of Myrtle Lane in suburban West Palm Beach spent their Monday uneasy. Two men were shot and killed at their house on Sunday night, and most found the news unsettling.

Many walked by the house where the two men were killed, talking on cellphones and sharing how the news has struck a nerve. Others rode by on their bicycles, slowing down in front of the house to stare. But the majority didn't want to talk, fearing the idea of their names being published.

But Wayne Powell, 42, said he didn't hear anything until deputies knocked on his door on Sunday night. He was having a hard time on Monday grasping the idea that his neighbors were now dead.

The neighborhood has a strong law enforcement presence, he said, with Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies patrolling the area often in cars and on bicycles.

"I never expected that to happen here, right in front of the house," said Powell, who has lived on Myrtle Lane for 2½ years. "I feel like I'm dreaming. They were very nice people."

Sheriff's officials identified the two men as 70-year-old Douglas Donahue and 63-year-old Tommaso Coggio, both of suburban West Palm Beach.

Both men have criminal histories.

According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Coggio's first arrest - a burglary - took place in 1966, when he was 18 years old. He was arrested at least 14 times since, for charges ranging from fraud to larceny.

Donahue had several run-ins with the law as well, with at least eight arrests dating back to 1975, according to records. In 2007, Donahue was arrested twice, once for trafficking 30 kilograms or more of a controlled substance and later in the year for violating his probation.

Investigators released little information Monday regarding the double homicide. Sheriff's office spokeswoman Teri Barbera did say, however, that the agency does not believe the incident was a random act of violence.

On Sunday night, Barbera said in a written release that deputies were dispatched around 9:20 p.m., to the house of the two men, after a neighbor reported that shots were fired.

When they arrived, a male neighbor explained that he found the two men shot dead, after he decided to investigate the origin of the shots.

Deputies got a search warrant for the house on Monday, and were looking for any clues that could lead them to a possible suspect. Three vehicles, including two sport-utility vehicles, were also towed from the house.

Staff photographer Lannis Waters and staff researcher Niels Heimeriks contributed to this story.



Print this article Back to Top