Thursday, January 18, 2018
Public safety

Man dead after standoff with deputies in Hernando

MASARYKTOWN — Deputies spent several hours Monday morning hoping Robert Sharp would give up and end the standoff.

They had his residence surrounded. When Sharp fired shots at them and ran back inside the house on 10 acres at 18385 Benes Roush Road, SWAT and crisis teams responded and attempted to make contact with him.

At 7 a.m., authorities entered the home to find Sharp, 56, dead from a gunshot wound. Whether the fatal shot was fired by deputies or was self-inflicted was not known, Hernando County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Picardi said.

The incident began just after midnight with a 911 call indicating Sharp was armed inside the home and threatening suicide after a fight with his wife, Susan Sharp. Sheriff Al Nienhuis said shots could be heard in the background and that Robert Sharp was firing his gun inside the residence.

Susan Sharp was able to flee the house. Deputies found her safe and uninjured.

Nienhuis said it was about that time that Robert Sharp called 911, feigning injury.

"He told us that he was injured and that he couldn't get up," Nienhuis said.

The sheriff described Sharp's behavior as "cagey." For example, he said he could unlock the door but couldn't open it.

"We were a little concerned that something wasn't quite right, so the deputies stayed back," Nienhuis said.

Shortly after that call, Sharp came out to the front porch and started shooting. He retreated inside. Then he came outside again.

"The second time he came out, he was actually apparently pointing the gun in the direction of a deputy and firing, and so another deputy returned fire and possibly hit the suspect," Nienhuis said.

After several hours of unsuccessful attempts to communicate with Sharp, deputies approached the home. They went inside and found Sharp dead.

The Sheriff's Office said it was investigating the shooting in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

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