TAMPA – Hillsborough deputies opened fire on a Tampa man, fatally wounding him, after an altercation at a party early Sunday.
The shooting happened at Bristol Bay Apartments, 4709 Bristol Bay Way, after deputies responded about 12:42 a.m. to a 911 call about a disturbance, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Two men had gotten into an argument and physical altercation in a parking lot of the beige and brown complex off US 41 south of the Lee Roy Selmon Freeway, and one man fired more than once. No one was injured.
The fatal shooting happened at the Bristol Bay Apartments off US 41 south of the Lee Roy Selmon Freeway.
When deputies found Jonathan Huertas Reyes, 32, walking around the complex and trying to talk to him, he ran away and was chased, the department said. Donna Lusczynski said at a news conference early Sunday. When an officer pulled out a Taser and made noise with it to make him stop, Huertas Reyes pulled a gun from his fanny pack and held it to his head as he continued to walk away, Lusczynski said.
“The deputy keeps telling him ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down,'” he said.
At the time, bystanders at the complex were also encouraging him in English and Spanish to drop the gun, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Hillsborough deputies opened fire on 32-year-old Jonathan Huertas Reyes after he grabbed a gun at the Bristol Bay Apartments in Tampa early Sunday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Huertas Reyes was pronounced dead from the shooting at Tampa General Hospital.
A Spanish-speaking deputy spoke with Huertas Reyes on the phone while he was on the phone for more than 15 minutes, Lusczynski said.
Huertas Reyes said “he might as well kill himself, he knows he’s going to jail because he shot the other subject” in the earlier incident in the parking lot, he said.
“At one point, the individual drops the weapon on the ground but then picks it up again and points it in the direction of our deputies, at which point they fire their weapons,” Lusczynski said. “The subject is hit and falls to the ground.”
Huertas Reyes was pronounced dead at Tampa General Hospital.
Sheriff’s Office body camera footage shows a deputy giving chase and yelling “Sheriff’s Office, Dad! Get on the ground!” and “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!”
The deputies who opened fire were: Sgt. Benjamin Kenney, an employee of the sheriff’s office for 21 years; Rip. Nicholas Scudder, in office for seven years; and Dept. Jeff Louis, with the office for one year.
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None of the deputies have been involved in the use of deadly force prior to this incident, the Sheriff’s Office said. They have been placed on administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates.
Court records indicate that Huertas Reyes was the father of at least one young child.
This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.