Fla. Deputy Wounded in Chaotic Shooting that Left Gunman, 2 Others Dead

June 17, 2024
A 26-year-old Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy underwent surgery to remove a bullet from his leg after he was wounded when a 19-year-old man accused of killing his parents exchanged gunfire with authorities.

Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a shooting that resulted in the deaths of a suspect and his parents and the injury of a deputy late Saturday night.

The incident took place Saturday shortly after 11 p.m. at a home located in the 14000 block of Cactus Wren Place in Carrollwood. The suspect was identified as Christos Alexander Themelis Jr., 19.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect’s mother, identified as Rebecca Ann Themelis, 48, called 911 to report that her husband, Christos Byron Themelis, 51, had been shot by her son. While she was still on the phone with dispatch, additional gunshots were heard. Deputies arrived to find the suspect and his mother outside the house. He shot his mother and the deputies, who returned fire. The suspect then retreated into the home.

Hillsborough deputies deployed its SWAT, explosive ordnance disposal and crisis negotiation teams. When specialty units entered the home, they discovered the younger Themelis had succumbed to his injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Chad Chronister said deputies responded to a chaotic scene and acted to protect the community. Chronister also said since 2021, they’ve recorded at least 10 calls for service at this Carrollwood address. The calls for service were mostly mental health-related involving the younger Themelis and violence against his mother and father, Chronister said during a press conference.

Detectives are unsure what led to the shooting Saturday. According to Chronister, there was an active risk protection order in place, and the suspect’s firearms were seized in March. The main concern is determining how the suspect gained access to firearms despite the seizure, Chronister said.

“We need to find out what happened and how this mentally ill subject had access to any type of firearms when we took his firearms,” he said. “They are in our custody.”

Five deputies were involved in the shooting. Deputy Shane McGough, 26, underwent surgery Sunday morning to remove a bullet from his leg. A rod was also inserted, and he is expected to recover, according to the sheriff’s office.

None of the deputies involved has any prior record of use of deadly force, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

“Without our deputies’ quick and skillful response, an entire neighborhood would have been in danger,” Chronister said.


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