Suspect shoots himself during standoff after shooting at Pasco deputies in Zephyrhills
A Zephyrhills man exchanged gunfire with law enforcement and then took his own life during an hours-long standoff on Friday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
The shooting happened after U.S. Marshals and multiple law enforcement agencies served an arrest warrant at a home on Ruth Avenue, Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a news conference.
The suspect, identified as Alfredo Luis Rodriguez, 31, had multiple warrants out for his arrest in Pasco and Hillsborough counties. He was also wanted for questioning as a suspect in a Hernando County homicide case.
The sheriff’s office described him as “a convicted felon with a violent history.”
At around 7:25 a.m., the U.S. Marshals task force approached the home to arrest Rodriguez. His pregnant girlfriend answered the door and was ushered away from the home, as officials feared he would behave violently toward her.
Rodriguez shot at law enforcement when they entered the home, according to PCSO. A Tampa Police Department officer returned fire but did not know if they injured Rodriguez.
As more deputies arrived, Rodriguez shot at them through a window. A deputy returned fire.
Officials used a drone, robotic “dog” and armored vehicle to get a closer look at the home and told the suspect, “This is the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Come out with your hands up.”
“Over the course of several hours, Rodriguez continued to periodically fire at law enforcement outside the home,” a sheriff’s office news release stated.
The SWAT team eventually entered the home and found Rodriguez dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to PCSO’s preliminary investigation. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the deputy-involved shooting.
No law enforcement officials were injured during the incident.
Neighbor Georgean Leahy said she was getting ready to take her child to school when she heard gunshots.
“Right as I touched my doorknob, I heard ‘pop, pop, pop.’ Three gunshots,” Leahy recalled. “So, I locked the door and came upstairs. We were up there talking, watching out the windows to see what happened, and then we heard one final pop.”
The school bus depot called and informed Leahy that the bus couldn’t make it to the neighborhood due to the standoff. The school also went into lockdown.
According to Leahy, officers have come to the home multiple times to arrest the suspect, but this time was different.
“I thought it was just going to be like the rest, but the gunshots were the scary part,” Leahy said. “My anxiety is through the roof right now.”