TAMPA, Florida. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is investigating after three Hillsborough County deputies were involved in the shooting death of a gunman at a Tampa apartment complex early Sunday morning.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the Bristol Bay Apartments, located at 4709 Bristol Bay Way in Tampa, shortly before 12:45 a.m. to investigate reports of gunshots.
Upon arrival, deputies say they learned that two men had argued over a woman at a party earlier that night and the confrontation had moved outside. That’s when deputies say Jonathan Huertas Reyes, 32, shot the other man involved multiple times but missed.
Deputies located Huertas Reyes in the apartment complex, but say he ignored them when they tried to talk to him and led them in pursuit on foot through the property.
According to HCSO, a deputy tried to get Huertas Reyes to obey orders by pulling out an agency-issued Taser. That’s when deputies say Huertas Reyes pulled a gun from a fanny pack he was carrying and pointed it at his head.
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According to chief deputy Donna Lusczynski, Huertas Reyes said he might as well kill himself because he knows he will go to jail for shooting the other man.
Bystanders who saw the suspect with the weapon yelled at Huertas Reyes in English and Spanish to drop the weapon, according to HCSO. A bilingual deputy also began speaking with Huertas Reyes and encouraged him to walk towards law enforcement without a gun in his hand.
Deputies say Huertas Reyes put the gun down, but refused to walk towards deputies. Lusczynski says Reyes eventually retrieved the gun and deputies shot him when he pointed the gun at them.
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According to HCSO, deputies immediately began rescue efforts and used an AED on Huertas Reyes. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
According to Lusczynski, Huertas Reyes has previously been arrested for domestic battery and domestic battery with strangulation.
Courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
She says no MPs or other citizens were injured in the incident.
“It could have been a much worse situation if our deputies had not acted,” added Lusczynski.
Per agency policy, the three deputies involved in the shooting, Sergeant Benjamin Kenney, Deputy Nicholas Scudder and Deputy Jeff Louis, have been placed on administrative leave. None of the deputies has previously used lethal force.