UPDATED from earlier version
Police down in the Tampa, FL, area are currently investigating an awful tragedy involving one of their own that happened earlier today and involved a firearm.
WFLA-TV, citing police, is reporting that a deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s department, which covers Tampa and the surrounding area, identified by Sheriff Chad Chronister as 58-year old Terry Strawn, shot and killed his wife and six year-old granddaughter at the family residence before traveling to a second home and killing his daughter.
Chronister told assembled media at a news conference this morning, according to the Tampa Bay Times, that after he killed his family members, the deputy shot himself outside of Plant City High School, an incident which the sheriff said was witnessed by several of his colleagues.
According to the sheriff, the incident started just before 7:00am Eastern time when the deputy informed dispatchers that “he had caused harm to his family” before providing directions to the two residences then announcing his intentions to commit suicide at the high school. The sheriff then indicated a supervisor attempted to defuse the situation over the radio, but sadly, as it turned out, to no avail. Strawn, said the sheriff, complained during that discussion of various financial and health issues.
WFLA, citing the sheriff, reported that Strawn had retired from the department a couple of years ago after a long, over 25-year career with the agency. He had just been rehired by the department to help provide security at the elementary school where his granddaughter was a student.
No students or staff at the high school were affected by the incident there, and the paper reported, citing a school spokesperson, that the school was not placed on lockdown despite the incident having occurred.
According to the TV station, this was not the first time in recent months the sheriff’s department has had to deal with this type of tragedy involving one of their officers. Back in September, deputy Kirk Keithley shot and killed his wife in front of their four children at home in a neighboring county before taking his own life.