Saturday, December 16, 2017
Public safety

Hernando deputies fatally shoot a 'delusional' knife-wielding suspect (w/video)

Hernando County deputies fatally shot a man Monday morning, hours after he was accused of killing one dog with a knife and injuring another, threatening residents living around the area of Cedar Lane near Duffield Road near Brooksville, and scuffling with law enforcement.

The man was identified as Taylor Kendall Hodge, 26, of Brooksville.

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said his office began receiving calls from residents shortly after 10 a.m. about a delusional man running through the woods with no shoes on.

By the time deputies arrived 10 to 15 minutes later, more calls had come in, Nienhuis said.

One accused the suspect of attacking the family dogs, killing one. Another homeowner claimed to have been threatened with a knife by the delusional man.

Nienhuis said the suspect refused to drop his knife when ordered to do so by deputies at 10:37 a.m.

"A couple minutes later they deployed Tasers with no effect," he said. "Within a short period of time shots were fired."

Deputies administered first aid to the suspect and called EMS, but he died at a Brooksville hospital, Nienhuis said.

"This person was so delusional," Nienhuis said. "There was no way to communicate with the individual, which is scary because you don't have a whole lot of options at that point, especially when they are armed with a knife."

One deputy received a minor cut from man's knife but was treated and released from the hospital.

The two deputies involved in the shooting — identified as James Desmond and Earnest Johnson — have been placed on administrative leave, Nienhuis said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now involved in the investigation.

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