Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Public safety

Pasco deputies describe rampage of angry man with AK-47

NEW PORT RICHEY — It was Friday night in Moon Lake, around 8, and a woman called deputies because her husband had threatened her life.

If she didn't get out quickly, Robert William Kaminski told her on the phone, he would kill her. So Lonnie Kaminski and her mother started packing, and a deputy came by and posted up outside the house.

Sure enough, Kaminski showed up at 9518 Marley Ave. According to authorities, the deputy approached and noticed a gun in the passenger side of Kaminski's blue Hyundai. The deputy, whose name is not being released while the case is reviewed, pulled his own gun and ordered Kaminski out, but Kaminski drove toward the house, jumped out of his car and pointed the gun at the deputy.

There was a click, but the gun jammed. The deputy — on the job for only two weeks — almost fired his own weapon, but Lonnie and her mother were at the door, in the line of fire.

Kaminski ducked inside.

At a news conference Monday, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco, along with Detective Michael Rosa and Chief Forensic Investigator James Steffens, described how deputies ended the rampage of an angry man with an AK-47 in his hand and a Glock pistol in the waistband of his pants.

"It was a scene you usually see in a movie," Nocco said, "but it happened in Pasco County."

As soon as Kaminski ran in the house, deputies called him on the phone to negotiate. He wouldn't listen, Steffens said, and was extremely angry at his wife.

Deputies would later learn from Kaminski's family that he suffered from bipolar disorder, and had been off his medication since December.

During the standoff, deputies were in the process of bringing in SWAT personnel and pulling out the first responders. That's when Kaminski made a move. With his gun raised in a firing position, he walked out the back door and through a narrow passage between the carport and a wall. He moved quietly and stayed in the shadows. Out front, he opened fire at deputies behind a patrol car in the street, firing at least five times. He also hit a window of a nearby house, Steffens said, which had been evacuated shortly before.

While Kaminski focused on the deputies, SWAT members out of his sight opened fire. Kaminski fell. Deputies tried to revive him, but he died in the circular driveway of his doublewide mobile home around 11:30 p.m.

Nocco said they don't think Kaminski had military training, but that guns were a hobby. There were several found inside his residence. Nocco said authorities also suspect he may have been part of a motorcycle gang.

The bullets from Kaminski's gun, Nocco said while tapping his body armor, were strong enough to penetrate deputies' bullet-proof vests.

The deputies, he said, are heroes. "The suspect chose every action," Nocco said. "We had to react to his actions and it resulted in his own death."

Contact Jon Silman at (727) 869-6229, [email protected] or @Jonsilman1 on Twitter.

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