Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Public safety

Man shot in apparent domestic dispute, Hernando deputies say

BROOKSVILLE — For years, neighbors watched with dread as drama played out in the tidy two-story home on Maycrest Avenue.

Kevin Rooks and Diana Adams lived together with Adams' two disabled children in the house on the dusty lime rock road northwest of Brooksville. Adams, 55, and Rooks, 30, seemed like an unlikely couple.

"They argued all the time," said Carole Michali, 69, who lives across the street. "We said someone was going to get shot there one day."

That happened Tuesday afternoon when, the Hernando Sheriff's Office says, Adams shot Rooks during an apparent domestic dispute.

A woman called 911 about 2:30 p.m. and said she was being beaten and a man had been shot, sheriff's spokeswoman Denise Moloney said. Deputies arrived to find Rooks suffering from at least one gunshot wound.

Rooks was in guarded condition at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday evening.

Adams suffered an unspecified medical emergency while speaking with deputies and was taken to a local hospital, Moloney said. Her condition was unavailable. Two other adults home at the time experienced "medical issues as a result of the excitement" and were also taken to a local hospital, Moloney said.

No one had been charged with a crime Tuesday but the incident remained under investigation.

Records show Diana Adams bought the property in 2006. Rooks is also listed as an owner. Moloney confirmed deputies had been called to the house for prior domestic disputes.

Neighbors said Rooks helps care for Adams' children. Heather is in her 40s, Bobby in his 20s. Both have spina bifida and are paralyzed below the waist.

The family was featured in a 2008 Tampa Bay Times article after a Clearwater Beach hotel donated a room for the night so Heather and Bobby could watch escape artist Criss Angel perform. The article said Adams' husband had died about five years earlier and money was tight. In a photo that ran with the story, Rooks is smiling with Adams, Heather and Bobby.

On Tuesday, neighbor Amanda Kinnas saw a frantic Diana Adams walking in front of the house with a cellphone in hand.

"I heard her yell, 'Kevin, I'm calling an ambulance,' " said Kinnas, 31.

Frank Michali, 66, said he saw Rooks, covered in blood and dressed only in pajama pants, get into the couple's van and start to drive away. Rooks pulled back into the driveway when a patrol car arrived.

Deputies questioned the couple, at one point putting Adams in handcuffs, Michali said. Paramedics took Rooks to a medical helicopter waiting at nearby Central High School.

Adams has never been arrested in Florida, records show.

Rooks' only arrest came in August, when he was charged in Hernando with two counts of battery and one count of abuse of an elderly or disabled person. The charges were dropped a month later. Details of the case were not available Tuesday.

News researcher Natalie Watson contributed. Tony Marrero can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

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