CLEARWATER — Deputies shot and killed a naked man who threatened them with a shotgun Sunday afternoon, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
During a Sunday evening news conference, Gualtieri identified the man as Danny M. Meredith, 60, who Gualtieri said had no history of violence.
Gualtieri gave the following account of the shooting:
The incident began as a domestic disturbance at 1856 Bugle Lane near Clearwater. Meredith and his wife, Donna, 56, had argued earlier Sunday, and Donna Meredith left the home for a few hours to let things cool down. She returned about 3 p.m. and found a note on the front door.
"There are guns in the home, don't come in unless you want to die," the note said.
Donna Meredith called authorities. Sheriff's Deputies Robert Brown and Adam Przybysz met her about 3:30 p.m. at a nearby store. She explained the situation, and the deputies then went to the house.
They found the note still attached to the door. They knocked, identified themselves and asked Danny Meredith to come to the door. No one answered. But the deputies heard a "commotion" inside the home, Gualtieri said.
After a few minutes, Danny Meredith opened the door, naked, holding a shotgun, the sheriff said.
He pointed the gun at the deputies and made "comments of a threatening nature," Gualtieri said. Brown and Przybysz both shot Meredith multiple times. He died at the scene.
The sheriff said no one else lives at the house besides the couple.
Brown has been with the Sheriff's Office for 25 years, and Przybysz for 11. Both men have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine in deputy-involved shootings. The investigation is ongoing, Gualtieri said.
Danny Meredith worked for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, according to Gualtieri. It was unclear Sunday just what his job was, but the sheriff said he did not drive a PSTA bus.
Danny Meredith has no criminal record in the state, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The Sheriff's Office had not been called to the house before, Gualtieri said, and there were no indications he was intoxicated.
Pinellas County court records examined Sunday do not reveal any record of domestic problems between the couple. Records show they were married in November 2002.
Donna Meredith, who state records show is a registered nurse, told deputies her husband had trouble at work lately because of "back problems."
"He wasn't a violent guy," Gualtieri said. "He was a very peaceful man, according to his wife … up until today."
Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Will Hobson can be reached at (727) 445-4167 or [email protected]