Hernando Sheriff: Deputy shoots, wounds man in Spring Hill

Check Tampabay.com the latest breaking news and developments.
Check Tampabay.com the latest breaking news and developments.
Published February 27
Updated March 7

SPRING HILL — A man was shot by a deputy on Tuesday in what the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said appears to have been an attempt to provoke law enforcement.

The incident took place at about 3 p.m. near Marble Avenue and Antelope Street, deputies said, a residential neighborhood south of Spring Hill Drive.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said the incident started when deputies received a call at about 3 p.m. about a man "acting strange and waving a firearm around" at a convenience store on Spring Hill Drive.

As deputies responded, the sheriff said, one encountered the man at the intersection.

Nienhuis said the deputy told the man to show his hands. But the man did not comply, the sheriff said.

"When he did comply, he pulled out something that the deputy believed was a firearm," Nienhuis said, declining to confirm whether the object was a gun, citing the preliminarily stage of the investigation.

"The deputy involved felt that his life was threatened and did shoot the individual," Nienhuis said.

The man was "alert and conscious" when transported to a local trauma center, he said, and the deputy was not injured.

The sheriff said the man "made some statements to the deputy that lead us to believe ... this may have been what is typically referred to as suicide-by-cop," where someone may act threatening to provoke officers into fatally shooting them.

The Sheriff’s Office did not identify the wounded man, or the deputy who shot him. No other details about the incident were made public.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the deputy’s actions in the shooting.