Deputies shoot armed man at estranged wife’s home
RIVERVIEW — Shots rang out in the darkness early Friday when a 60-year-old man was killed by deputies in a quiet neighborhood near Big Bend Road and U.S. 301.
Deputies were called to a house at the end of Estates Del Sol Drive just after 3 a.m. when a woman came home to find her estranged husband inside, Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said. She called 911 “in a panic,” he said.
The man was outside in the neighbor’s yard when deputies Dannette Brennan and Joshua Berrios arrived, Chronister said.
Through the darkness, Chronister said, deputies could see him holding two objects. When the deputies commanded him to drop what he was holding, the man threw a koozie-wrapped beer can across a fence but held onto a silver object the deputies later said was a small firearm.
They told him to drop the gun, Chronister said, but the man didn’t listen.
“At some point during the interaction and them telling him to drop the gun, he turns towards them pointing the gun at them,” Chronister said in a Friday morning news conference a few houses away from the shooting. “In fear for their life, unfortunately, the only option they had was to fire at the estranged husband, striking him multiple times.”
The man, whose name has not been released, died at the scene. Chronister said “preliminary details now are that he wasn’t able to get a shot off.” Neither deputy was injured.
The estranged wife, whose name was not released, was distraught but unharmed, Chronister said.
She called from 11006 Estates Del Sol Drive, a small manufactured home at the terminus of the dead-end road. As forensic workers began to process the scene Friday morning, black screens covered the man’s body where he’d fallen at the end of the driveway of the large twostory house next door. A rooster crowed from another neighbor’s yard.
The man has a criminal history in Texas including armed robbery and “multiple whitecollar crimes,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. He also has a misdemeanor charge in Florida for trespassing. Chronister said there is no record of any previous domestic violence calls to the house.
Brennan, 27, joined the Sheriff ’s Office in 2014 and had no prior use-of-force incidents.
Berrios, 31, started with the agency in August 2015, and Friday’s shooting marked the second time he has fired his weapon with deadly results. He was one of two deputies involved in the June 2016 shooting death of 26year-old Jamil Alejandro Valladares during another domestic violence call in Riverview.
Valladares’ girlfriend called deputies to an apartment she shared with him at Grovedale Circle saying he pulled her hair, choked her and ripped her robe during an argument, according to an investigation summary. Berrios and another deputy, Austin O’Neill, found Valladares in front of his 2000 Mercury Mountaineer and said he became verbally aggressive, then pulled out and raised a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, according to the summary.
O’Neill and Berrios shot him several times. Neither deputy was injured, but investigators recovered two spent shell casings next to Valladares. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital and charged with two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, but died about a month later. The State Attorney’s Office concluded the deputies were justified in using deadly force.