Monday, February 19, 2018
Public safety

Two shooting deaths in Hernando in 24 hours, but no arrests

Two arguments, two shootings, two men dead within 24 hours — and no arrests.

The cases are unrelated but have striking similarities. Among them: The Hernando Sheriff's Office so far is saying little about what happened.

One similarity detectives are emphasizing: The incidents were contained to the parties involved and the shooters do not present a threat to the public.

"In order to preserve the integrity of both cases, detectives have opted to limit the amount of information released at this time," sheriff's spokeswoman Denise Moloney said Friday. "The release of information will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and will be disseminated as soon as possible."

George Avedissian was shot about 8:20 p.m. Thursday during an argument with his housemate, an adult male, at his home at 8743 Ostrom Way, north of Weeki Wachee, the Sheriff's Office said. Avedissian was taken to Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill, where he died. Friday was his 69th birthday.

Property records show George and Sandra Avedissian own the 2,500-square-foot ranch house that sits on 10 acres at the edge of the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area. Sandra Avedissian purchased the home in 2004.

Efforts by the Times to reach Sandra and other family members were unsuccessful Friday.

About 12:30 a.m. Thursday, Michael Alexander Challis, 34, of Spring Hill, was shot during an argument with two men at a house at 6991 Pinehurst Drive in Spring Hill. Challis was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson, where he died.

Property records list Robert J. Asciolla Sr. as the owner of the house where Challis was killed. A young man who answered the door Thursday would not comment on the shooting

Challis' family members reached by the Times on Friday declined to comment.

A celebration of life for Challis is set for 4 p.m. Sunday at Christian Church in the Wildwood, 10051 Country Road, north of Weeki Wachee.

Staff writer Alison Barnwell and news researcher Reach Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

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