Florida Sheriff's Deputy Fatally Shoots Wife, Himself, Leaving 4 Children Behind

Police cordon
FILE PHOTO: Officials identified the suspect as a Hillsborough County Sheriff deputy. It did not appear that the gun used in the incident was a service weapon. iStock

Florida detectives have launched an investigation after a Hillsborough County Sheriff deputy fatally shot his wife before turning the firearm on himself.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office received a call around midnight on Sunday from a 14-year-old who ran from a residence, situated on Terrazzo Way, Land O' Lakes. The child told dispatchers there had been an argument and that he had heard a shot fired from inside the home.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a press briefing on Monday morning that first responders discovered a murder-suicide had taken place. The man was later identified as 39-year-old Kirk Keithley, and his deceased wife as Samantha Keithley, aged 33.

According to Nocco, officers found the wife's body on a couch inside the house. Upstairs, there were three more children, unharmed. The suspect was found upstairs in a separate room from the children. "He was deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, it appears," Nocco said.

Officials identified the suspect as a Hillsborough County Sheriff deputy. It did not appear that the gun used in the incident was a service weapon. Authorities noted there had been no previous calls to the residence before Monday, but stressed the probe was only beginning.

According to ABC Action News, Keithley had been employed at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for more than nine years. In a statement issued to the publication today, HCSO Sheriff Chad Chronister confirmed that the deputy had been involved in the shooting.

"Unfortunately, last night, one of our deputies was involved in a tragic event where he took his wife's life and then his own," he wrote. "I cannot begin to express how disheartened I am.

"Domestic violence has no place in our society. I ask that everyone join me and the rest of our office and pray for those innocent children who are left behind and have to pick up the pieces. This is something that is impossible to comprehend for even the most seasoned person."

Nocco said the next-of-kin were still being notified and declined to comment on the relationship between the victims. He confirmed that the four uninjured children were aged 14 and under.

"I am not familiar with the deputy or who the individual was," the sheriff told reporters. "But I can tell you that domestic violence is a horrendous act that goes on in every community and the moment that any individual goes from protecting people to harming people loses the right—no matter what agency they are with—to call themselves a law enforcement officer."

"Just pray for these kids," Nocco continued, confirming officials were attending to them.

"It's Monday morning and there's a lot of people waking up getting ready to go to school. There are four children trying to put their shattered lives [back together], trying to figure out what happened to them overnight. It is devastating what happened out here this morning.

"Our biggest priority is those children. Its devastating for that woman, absolutely horrendous that she lost her life this way. But right now, we have to figure out how to help those kids."

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco
Sheriff Chris Nocco: “Our biggest priority is those children. Its devastating for that woman, absolutely horrendous that she lost her life this way. But right now, we have to figure out how to help those kids.” Facebook/Screenshot
Florida Sheriff's Deputy Fatally Shoots Wife, Himself, Leaving 4 Children Behind | U.S.