Pinellas deputy shoots and kills woman who raised gun, police say

The deputy killed Samantha M. Belk, 54, who said she had a gun and then “raised it toward” them, according to police.
A Pinellas deputy shot and killed someone who raised a gun toward him, according to police.
A Pinellas deputy shot and killed someone who raised a gun toward him, according to police. [ Times ]
Published Sept. 30|Updated Sept. 30

A Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a 54-year-old woman who raised a gun toward him Saturday morning at the Sunshine Mobile Home Park, according to police.

The deputy, Albert Johnson III, shot the woman outside her home after she came out with a gun, St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway said in a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Police later identified her as Samantha M. Belk, 54.

St. Petersburg police are leading the investigation involving the Pinellas deputy.

Three deputies, including Johnson, arrived at the mobile home park near 74th Street North and 46th Avenue North shortly before 9 a.m. after a neighbor called 911 about a dispute, Holloway said.

After first meeting with the neighbor who called, deputies then met with Belk at her home. Holloway said they could hear her yelling at them from inside, at one point saying that she had a gun. He said the deputies took cover behind their vehicles.

According to police, Belk came out with a semiautomatic handgun and refused deputies’ orders to drop it.

“The deputies then gave her an order. She did not follow those orders,” Holloway said. “At some point during the orders, the subject raised the gun toward the deputy. The deputy then fired several rounds at the subject.”

Responders took Belk to HCA Florida Northside Hospital for treatment. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Holloway said Johnson has worked for the sheriff’s office for nine years. The agency has placed him on administrative leave, police said. The other two deputies did not fire their weapons, police said, and will remain on duty.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri joined Holloway at the news conference. Holloway said in cases where a Pinellas deputy shoots a person, St. Petersburg police lead the criminal investigation, and the sheriff’s office handles any potential policy or procedural changes that might come from it.