Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shooting of man by Clearwater officer ruled justified

CLEARWATER — When David DiRoma couldn't be reached by his co-workers, his boss was concerned.

Tim Forrest had hired DiRoma as a general contractor for a building project. On Oct. 24, he visited DiRoma at his house at 3018 Merrill Ave. and found him drunk. He told Forrest that he was stressed and needed help.

Two days later, Forrest visited DiRoma a second time.

He had been drinking again. He told Forrest his wife was sick, that only $700 remained in his bank account, that he planned to check himself into rehab. Then Forrest spotted the gun and bullets on the kitchen counter.

Forrest asked him why the gun was out, but DiRoma didn't reply. He offered to help, but DiRoma declined.

Fearing his friend might be suicidal, Forrest left and called 911.

Less than three hours later, DiRoma, 69, was shot dead by Clearwater police Officer Brian Rogers.

DiRoma had pointed a .38-caliber revolver at police outside his home. He had refused to put it down. Only later did police learn the gun wasn't loaded.

These and other details were released this week by Clearwater police after internal affairs investigators ruled that the shooting was justified. The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has declined to file charges against Rogers.

After Forrest's 911 call, nine officers surrounded DiRoma's house. They called his cell and house phones, but no one answered. Through a loudspeaker, they told DiRoma he was not under arrest, but needed to come out with his hands up, records show.

DiRoma eventually emerged from his house, but armed with a revolver. Again through the loudspeaker, an officer asked him to drop his gun.

Rogers, positioned in front of the home with an AR-15 rifle, ordered DiRoma to drop the revolver about six more times, according to records.

But DiRoma continued walking toward officers and raised his gun in the direction of a corporal. Fearing for the corporal's safety, Rogers fired once at DiRoma, puncturing his torso, records show.

DiRoma was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital, where he later died. An autopsy revealed his blood alcohol level was 0.29. The state assumes impairment at 0.08.

Rogers, a 12-year veteran at the Clearwater department, was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. On Wednesday, he returned to his patrol duties.

Laura C. Morel can be reached at lmorel@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Shooting of man by Clearwater officer ruled justified 12/04/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.