One killed, two others wounded in shootings at Plant City office

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Published March 12 2018
Updated March 12 2018

A man was killed and two others wounded in a series of shootings that took place Monday inside a Plant City business, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Richard Paul Bliss, 49, shot and wounded two men in an office at Bliss Enterprises, deputies said, then was fatally shot himself. Bliss was shot by a relative of the two men he had shot, deputies said.

The surviving gunshot victims were taken to a Lakeland Regional Health for medical treatment. One was reported to be in critical condition and the other in stable condition.

Deputies did not release the identities of the wounded men or the person who shot Bliss.

The chain of events started at 3:43 p.m., deputies said, when they answered a report of a shooting at the business, which manufactures barns and garages, at 3940 Knights Griffin Road.

Bliss was in an office talking with the pair regarding a dispute over their presence on the property, Hillsborough sheriff’s Col. Donna Lusczynski said.

One of the wounded men was living and working on the property but had been asked to leave, Lusczynski said. The other man was his relative. The Sheriff’s Office gave their ages as 44 and 45.

"There had been an ongoing dispute over being on this property for the last several weeks," Lusczynski said.

Then Bliss took out a gun and shot both men, deputies said.

"Upon hearing the shooting, a family member came into the office and shot Mr. Bliss," Lusczynski said.

Deputies from Hillsborough and Polk counties arrived and found Bliss dead. It was not known if the person who shot Bliss will face criminal charges.