NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County sheriff's deputies shot and wounded a man Monday night who fired at them with a pellet gun, the Sheriff's Office said.
Two deputies encountered a 36-year-old man walking along U.S. 19 near Gulf Boulevard around 7:40 p.m. holding what appeared to be a firearm, Capt. Chris Beaman said at a Monday night news conference near the shooting.
Deputies told the man, who was not identified, to drop the weapon, repeating the command for about a minute, Beaman said. The man backed himself toward a business before "abruptly" raising the weapon toward the deputies, firing twice, Beaman said.
One of the deputies, who was in training, was hit twice in a leg with pellets, but was not seriously injured. The other deputy, a seven-year veteran, was not struck.
The deputies returned fire on the man, shooting him multiple times in the legs, investigators said. All three were transported to a hospital with injuries that were not to believed to be life-threatening.
Before encountering the deputies, the man placed two 911 calls during which he alluded to being homicidal. Beaman said he didn't believe the deputies knew about those calls when they approached the man.
The man has several prior criminal convictions, Beaman said, for charges that include battery and theft.
Both officers were placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure. Beaman said the Sheriff's Office had not reached out to an outside agency to investigate the shooting.