HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deputy-involved shooting that occurred in Dover Monday afternoon.
The shooting happened near the intersection of McIntosh Road and Thonotosassa Road.
According to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, deputies are often getting out of their vehicles to get to know the community they serve in a community policing effort called “Walk It Like I Talk It.” That’s what the sheriff said they were doing Monday when they learned a suspect wanted for aggravated battery for shooting a relative, as well as violation of probation, was in the area, possible located in a shed.
The suspect was identified as Dewayne Davis, 35. The sheriff’s office said he shot a relative over floor work being done in an RV in the 10300 block of McIntosh Road in April.
“He and a relative are having a dispute over some work they completed and who was entitled to how much money. Our bad guy, our wanted subject, gets irate and shoots the relative in the leg,” said Chronister.
Deputies made contact with the girlfriend of the suspect, identified as Dana Rice, 31, and asked if her boyfriend was located in the padlocked shed in the area.
“She says, ‘he may be in there, he may not be in there. I don’t know,'” the sheriff said.
As deputies investigated, they announced themselves over the course of several minutes and told the suspect that if he was in the shed, to surrender himself. After announcing one of the deputies had a K-9, the deputies cut the lock, opened the door of the shed and gave another warning before entry.
The K-9 officer went right to the area of the shed where a cot, clothes and a blanket were on the floor. The dog tried to pull the blanket off Davis, according to Chronister.
Chronister said Davis then sat up and pointed a gun at the deputies.
At that time, deputies chose not to shoot and to briefly negotiate.
Chronister said Davis dropped his firearm and stood up, but during arrest commands, he turned his back to deputies.
“As they are giving him arrest commands, our wanted subject, our bad guy changes his mind, decides that’s not what he’s going to do now,” said Chronister.
Davis then allegedly reached to the same gun he surrendered on the ground, or just next to it, where an assault rifle with double magazines was located.
At that point, deputies were left with no choice, according to Chronister, and shot the suspect several times in the torso. Davis is now in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital. Charges are pending.
Chronister said Davis is “no stranger” to violent behavior or carrying a firearm, though he is not permitted to carry one, as he is a felon.
The deputies were identified as Sgt. Jason Goff, who has been with the sheriff’s office since 1999, and K-9 deputy Charles Perdomo, who has been with the sheriff’s office since 1995. The sheriff said neither deputy has previously used deadly force.
“Our deputies’ lives were put at risk not once, but twice today,” said Sheriff Chronister. “Rice’s decision to lie to our deputies put them in a dangerous situation that could have cost them their lives. As for Davis, he had no regard for anyone else’s safety. He was armed with multiple firearms, and it was clear, he did not want to get caught. I commend our deputies for the restraint and professionalism they showed in giving this violent criminal every opportunity to surrender peacefully.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.