Deputies dead after possible murder-suicide

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said a shooting happened after two deputies who worked in Tampa were off-duty and on vacation in St Augustine Saturday night.

“It was a little bit alarming,” said Kiernan Wallace, who lives near the scene of the shooting.

Investigators said two Hillsbrough County Sheriff’s deputies were romantically involved and found dead Saturday night.

“About 30 minutes later we got a phone call saying we need to lock our doors and stay inside,” said Wallace.

It happened along A1A South in the Butler Beach area.

According to the Hillsbourough County Sheriff’s Office, the deputies involved were heard arguing in a bedroom by fellow deputies on vacation with them before shots were fired.

They went on to say, the preliminary investigation indicates that the gunshot wound to Detective Daniel Leyden appears to be self-inflicted, and that he was the sole shooter.

He worked in the Criminal Investigations Division. The victim, whose name has not been released, is also a deputy, assigned to Uniform Patrol.

“These kinds of things they happen everywhere. It’s just unlucky that it happened here,” said Wallace.

The Hillsbourough County Sheriff released a statement Sunday saying in part, “Our Sheriff’s Office family is still reeling from the shock of this unthinkable tragedy. My prayers for strength and comfort are with the families and loved ones of these deputies, and every member of Team HCSO affected by this painful loss.”

No word now on funeral plans for those two deputies.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Dep. Leyden had been with HCSO since 2013.

The other deputy involved worked there since 2018.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.