Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Deputies: Town 'N Country man shoots wife, then self

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies investigate an apparent murder-suicide Thursday in the 8000 block of Galewood Circle in Town ’N Country.


Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies investigate an apparent murder-suicide Thursday in the 8000 block of Galewood Circle in Town ’N Country.

TOWN 'N COUNTRY — Their children were in school when it happened.

At about 9 a.m. Thursday, deputies say, Pedro Mendoza, 42, shot his estranged wife, police dispatcher Deanna Mendoza, 34, and then turned the gun on himself.

It happened in a black car parked in the driveway of their home at 8361 Galewood Circle.

She was sitting in the driver's seat, and Pedro Mendoza got in the passenger's seat. At some point, Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies say, he shot her.

Then he climbed into the back seat and shot himself.

The couple, who married in 2010, had not been getting along for a while, neighbors say. Deanna Mendoza had moved out of their home, and neighbors say the pair often argued.

Some said they believe the fights were about their children. They both had children, though none in common, deputies say.

Still, several who know the couple said they never saw the pair's fights become physical.

"It's not like him at all," said neighbor Janel Delgado, 17.

As homicide investigators combed through the crime scene, Pedro Mendoza's mother screamed and cried.

In Spanish, she insisted that she would just pull her son from the car. He would be alright, she said.

"It's terrible," said neighbor Desmond Scrivner. "Both were really decent people. They were easy-going, easy to talk to."

According to Deanna Mendoza's Facebook page, she has three children: two girls and a boy.

She trained 911 dispatchers at the Tampa Police Department, which she joined in 2009.

She was well-liked by the dispatch staff and was promoted last June, becoming a trainer, Tampa police's communications director, Thomas Wolff said Thursday.

"She was a very hard worker," Wolff said. "She enjoyed training the new dispatchers. Anytime there was a project, she was always willing to volunteer."

In January 2012, she was chosen as the department's civilian employee of the month.

"She always spoke about her children. She's just a very nice person," Wolff said. "It's a big shock to everybody here."

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor sent out an agency-wide email to let her staff know about Deanna Mendoza's death.

"She was a valued member of our team and a wonderful person," the chief wrote. "She leaves behind three children, other family members and countless friends."

Pedro Mendoza had children of his own, too. One goes to Alonso High School and was called to the student affairs office Thursday morning, a friend said.

According to his Facebook page, he had to put his 7-year-old pit bull down this week because she had cancer.

He has a lengthy arrest record and has been convicted of grand theft, aggravated assault, burglary and dealing in stolen property. He spent three stints in prison, most recently from 2000 to 2003.

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Deputies: Town 'N Country man shoots wife, then self 01/24/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 5:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.
  2. Rick Kriseman's administration lashed in St. Pete sewage report


    ST. PETERSBURG — A state report places much of the blame for the city's 200-million gallon sewage spill crisis on the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system. St. Petersburg dumped up to 200 million gallons of sewage over 13 months from 2015-16. A new state report blames much of the crisis on mistakes made by the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman, but also critcizes past administrations. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. Somalis in Minneapolis on defensive after police shooting


    MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police Chief Janeé Harteau resigned Friday at the request of the mayor, who said she lost confidence in the chief following last week's shooting death of an unarmed Australian woman by a police officer.

    Justine Damond
  4. Pasco burglars attempt -- sort of -- jewelry store heist (w/video)


    LUTZ — The Pasco County Sheriff's Office released surveillance video Friday of three men trying — and failing — to rob a jewelry store in broad daylight.

  5. State Dept.: U.S. to block Americans from traveling to North Korea


    The Trump administration plans to prohibit Americans from traveling to North Korea, the State Department announced Friday, citing serious risks of arrest and imprisonment in the isolated totalitarian state.

    Student Otto Warmbier, 22, died June 19 after being released from North Korea in a coma.