Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Off-duty deputy and officer shoot armed naked woman in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL — A naked woman was shot to death Saturday in Spring Hill after she walked up to an off-duty Hernando sheriff's deputy and an off-duty Tampa police officer and showed a weapon, sheriff's officials said.

The incident happened at a party about 1:17 p.m. at 9070 Orchard Parkway.

Hernando County sheriff's Detective Rocky Howard, 31, and Tampa police Officer William Mechler, 26, were attending the gathering when the woman, who was acting irrationally, approached them, said Hernando sheriff's Lt. Cinda Moore.

"It's my understanding that they did not know her," Moore said.

The woman left the gathering and returned a short time later with a weapon, officials said. Authorities did not disclose the weapon type; nor did they release the woman's name or age.

When she returned, one or both men fired their guns. She died at the scene.

"I can tell you that she was not part of the gathering, nor was she invited to the gathering," said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhaus. "So, it wasn't like she was invited to the group. She actually came up uninvited."

Howard and Mechler are acquaintances, Moore said. Howard, who lives near where the shooting happened, has worked for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office for six years. Mechler works for the Tampa Police Department and has four years of law enforcement experience.

Both were placed on administrative leave from their respective agencies pending the outcome of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation of the shooting.

Neighbor Steve Hulgin said the incident is unusual for the area.

"It's a very, very quiet street," he said. "We all have 10-acre parcels here and it's just a nice quiet street. It's just strange."

Bay News 9 contributed to this report. Dan Sullivan can be reached at (727) 893-8321 or

Off-duty deputy and officer shoot armed naked woman in Spring Hill 10/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 11:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.