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. Insurance regulators fret over a spike in auto glass claims


    TALLAHASSEE — Three months ago, state regulators weren't tracking a surge in broken auto glass claims, particularly in Tampa Bay.

    The issue has their attention now.

    The Office of Insurance Regulation is taking on assignment of benefits abuse in the 2018 legislative session. Pictured is Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier. | [Times file photo]
  2. Rick Baker lowers expectations before St. Pete mayoral primary


    ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Baker officially lowered expectations in the mayoral race on Tuesday, saying his “battle for the future of the city” against Mayor Rick Kriseman might last until November.

    Baker has consistently led in local polls and fundraising totals this summer. But at a fundraiders …

    Rick Baker addresses supporters on Beach Drive Tuesday
  3. What you need to know for Wednesday, Aug. 23


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Music producer Kevin Erondu, 31, who grew up in Dade City, rose to prominence after creating the beat to "Swag Surfin'," a 2009 club hit that still inspires viral videos today.
  4. Drawing nears for Powerball jackpot that's climbed to $700 million


    DES MOINES, Iowa — The estimated jackpot for Wednesday night's Powerball lottery game has climbed to $700 million, making it the second-largest in U.S. history.

    The estimated jackpot for the Powerball lottery drawing on Aug. 23, 2017, has climbed to $700 million, making it the second-largest in U.S. history. [Associated Press]
  5. 'Swag Surfin' producer: 'It's very weird… they're still playing the song' eight years later

    Music & Concerts


    Kevin Erondu doesn't often go to night clubs. Yet, across America, he drives people to the dance floor. He's 31 years old, but he still has the ear of college students, and while he's no pro athlete, they leap to their feet when he joins them in the gym.

    Originally from Dade City, music producer Kevin Erondu, 31, rose to prominence after creating the beat to Swag Surfin’, a 2009 club hit that still inspires viral videos today.