Advertisement
  1. Business

Pasco man shoots Alexa speaker before wounding two deputies in gun battle

Terrance J. Peterson, 62, is accused of shooting at deputies after a domestic violence dispute. [Pasco County Jail, 2015]
Terrance J. Peterson, 62, is accused of shooting at deputies after a domestic violence dispute. [Pasco County Jail, 2015]
Published Jun. 8, 2019

NEW PORT RICHEY — Two Pasco County Sheriff's deputies were wounded early Saturday in a gun battle that started after a man shot at his wife's Amazon Alexa smart speaker.

One bullet grazed a deputy's hand, and another wounded the accused shooter in the head. But K-9 Deputy Chris Stone suffered life-threatening injuries when a gunshot to his leg severed his femoral artery, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. Stone, 41, was rushed into emergency surgery at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and was recuperating in his hospital room Saturday afternoon, the Sheriff's office said.

A deputy with the agency since 2017, Stone could have easily bled to death at the scene had it not been for his fellow deputies' quick thinking, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

The man accused of starting the shootout, Terrance J. Peterson, 62, was arrested at the scene. Both Peterson and the other wounded deputy, who has not been named, were expected to fully recover from their injuries.

Deputies arrived at 7349 Humbolt Ave. after a woman called 911 around midnight to report a domestic dispute between her parents. Peterson had shot at her mother's Alexa, the daughter told deputies. The couple had been known to fight but usually their arguments did not escalate to calling the police, Nocco said.

Peterson's wife came outside as soon as deputies arrived. Nocco said she had been battered and her husband refused to leave his home. Inside, he had a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle.

Just before 2 a.m., deputies said they decided to enter the home after Peterson refused to surrender. That's when bullets began to spray from the house and into the surrounding suburban neighborhood. As they entered the home, Sheriff's deputies exchanged fire with Peterson, Nocco said.

"The suspect tired to kill everybody that was outside that house," Nocco said. "This was a battle. An absolute gun battle."

The gunfire didn't stop after a bullet struck Deputy Stone's leg, slicing through the large artery in his thigh that supplies blood to the lower body. As shots rang, other deputies worked to wrap a tourniquet around his wound, Nocco said. The Sheriff credited the surrounding deputies fast-thinking and training for saving not only his limb, but also his life.

When the bullets quieted, deputies could not get in contact with Peterson. The SWAT team and negotiators arrived, attempting to contact him until about 4 a.m. At that point, officers deployed a gas bomb inside the house and sent a robot in after. Through its camera, they saw Peterson motionless on the floor, blood trickling from his head.

Nocco said early Saturday morning it was not yet known if the wound was self-inflicted or from one of the deputies. Peterson was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The area near Seven Springs Boulevard and Humboldt Avenue was shut to traffic for hours as investigators examined the crime scene. Homes and Sheriff's vehicles were pierced with bullet holes, Nocco said.

"It's a nasty crime scene," he said. "This individual had full intentions to kill deputies."

Peterson will be charged with one count of domestic violence and at least five counts of attempted murder, according to the Sheriff's Office. Nocco said Peterson had been arrested for domestic battery before. The couple usually called their daughter, rather than police during disputes. This time was no different.

"The mother called the daughter," Nocco said. "The reason she was upset was because he shot at the Alexa. The Alexa must have been personal to her."

A Google image of the home taken in January 2019 shows a sign next to the front door: It says "We don't call 911," with a picture of a handgun.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Trader Peter Mazza works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) [CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP]
  2. Windhaven Insurance is closing its office in the Anchor Plaza office park and laying off 61 Tampa employees. (Google street view) [Google street view]
  3. Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) [CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP]
  4. The antebellum mansions of Charleston's East Battery are a highlight of the city's historic district. SUSAN C. HEGGER  |  St. Louis Post Dispatch (2004) [SUSAN C. HEGGER  |  KRT]
  5. MICHELE MILLER |  Times
The apartment-building boom along the State Road 54 and SR 56 corridor in southern Pasco County has sparked a public debate among Pasco commission members wondering how many is too many when it comes to multifamily housing. On Tuesday, commissioners indicated they will kill the transportation subsidy for new apartment complexes.
  6. The sub station takes center stage at the new West Shore Publix supermarket opening on Thursday. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  7. Tampa Park Apartments is on property between downtown and Ybor City, at East Scott Street and Nuccio Parkway. [Times (2018)]
  8. Hyde House in Hyde Park Village on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 in Tampa.  [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
  9. FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2019, file photo, Disney CEO Robert Iger arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", in Los Angeles  The Walt Disney Co. has named Bob Chapek CEO, replacing Bob Iger, effective immediately, the company announced Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.  (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, FIle) [JORDAN STRAUSS  |  Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]
  10. In this June 17, 2019, file photo, a cashier displays a packet of tobacco-flavored Juul pods at a store in San Francisco. Investigators from 39 states will look into the marketing and sales of vaping products by Juul Labs, including whether the company targeted youths and made misleading claims about nicotine content in its devices, officials announced Tuesday. Juul released a statement saying it has halted television, print and digital advertising and eliminated most flavors in response to concerns by government officials and others.  (AP Photo/Samantha Maldonado, File) [SAMANTHA MALDONADO  |  AP]
  11. St. Petersburg-based Jabil said Tuesday it's projecting that the spread of the coronavirus will hurt its second-quarter performance. [Handout photo]
  12. The future site of Green Light Cinema at 221 Second Ave on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 in St. Petersburg. The art house theater will be nestled between Pour Taproom and 2nd & Second. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement