Videos show Florida deputies killing gunman

TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough deputies opened fire on a Tampa man, fatally wounding him, following an altercation at a party early Sunday.

The shooting took place at Bristol Bay Apartments, 4709 Bristol Bay Way, after deputies responded around 12:42 a.m. to a 911 call about a disturbance, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Two men had argued and had a physical altercation in a parking lot at the beige and brown complex off US 41 south of the Lee Roy Selmon Freeway, and one man fired his gun more than once . No one was hurt.

When deputies found Jonathan Huertas Reyes, 32, walking through the compound and tried to talk to him, he fled and they chased him, chief deputy Donna Lusczynski told a news conference early Sunday. When a deputy pulled out a Taser and made noise with it to force him to stop, Huertas Reyes pulled a gun from his fanny pack and held it to his head as he continued to walk away , said Lusczynski.

“The deputy keeps telling him, ‘Drop your gun, put your gun down,'” she said.

At the time, bystanders at the resort were also encouraging him in English and Spanish to lay down his gun, according to the sheriff’s office.

A Spanish-speaking deputy spoke with Huertas Reyes by phone while keeping a distance for more than 15 minutes, Lusczynski said.

Huertas Reyes said ‘he might as well kill himself, he knows he’ll go to jail because he shot the other subject’ in the previous incident in the parking lot, she said .

“At some point the individual puts his gun on the ground and then picks it up and points it in the direction of our deputies, at which point they fire their guns,” Lusczynski said. “Subject is struck and falls to the ground.”

Huertas Reyes was pronounced dead at Tampa General Hospital.

Body camera footage from the sheriff’s office shows a deputy chasing and shouting “Sheriff’s office, stop!” Go to the field!” And later: “Drop your weapon! Drop your weapon!”

The deputies who opened fire were: Sgt. Benjamin Kenney, employee of the sheriff’s office for 21 years; deputy Nicholas Scudder, with the office for seven years; and Deputy Jeff Louis, with the office for a year.

None of the deputies were involved in the use of deadly force prior to this incident, the sheriff’s office said. They were placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Court records indicate that Huertas Reyes was the father of at least one young child.


©2022 Tampa Bay Times. Visit Distributed by Content Agency Tribune, LLC.