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Hillsborough deputy justified in shooting at man who fired gun, state attorney’s office says

Daniel Lighty, 35, of Brandon, is accused of firing two pistols a total of 76 times before he surrendered Dec. 9. No one was injured in the incident.
Daniel Lighty, 35, was arrested in December after firing a total of 76 shots from two guns at a Brandon car wash.
Daniel Lighty, 35, was arrested in December after firing a total of 76 shots from two guns at a Brandon car wash. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Jan. 21|Updated Jan. 21

A Hillsborough deputy was justified in shooting three times at a 35-year-old Brandon man accused of firing two pistols a total of 76 times before he surrendered last month, according to the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office.

No one was injured in the incident, which happened at a car wash along State Road 60 in Brandon on Dec. 9.

Deputies responded after receiving a number of 911 calls about a man standing near a minivan in the parking lot of Washed Up Car Wash, 834 E Brandon Blvd., and firing a gun, authorities said,

When deputies arrived, they saw the man, identified as Daniel Lighty, “firing his gun indiscriminately in the middle of the day near a busy road, endangering the lives of members of the public as well as the responding law enforcement officers,” according to a use of deadly force review released Thursday by the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office.

Video taken from surveillance cameras in the area shows Lighty firing a 9mm pistol a number of times before deputies arrived, the report said.

Video from surveillance cameras and the deputies’ body cameras then shows Lighty firing at deputies and ignoring commands to drop his gun, according to the State Attorney’s Office. One deputy fired his own weapon at Lighty three times, the report said.

Related: Watch: Deputies pursue man accused of firing 72 times along Brandon Boulevard

Authorities did not release the name of the deputy who shot at Lighty, citing Marsy’s Law, a voter-approved amendment to the state Constitution that was meant to protect crime victims but that deprives the public of information long available under Florida’s public records law.

Lighty continued firing and, after he emptied his ammunition clip, he reloaded and continued to shoot, Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said during a news conference Dec. 9.

Lighty returned to his vehicle, called 911 and spoke with members of the Sheriff’s Office crisis response team. He then surrendered.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s firearms analysis determined the 76 spent shell casings found near where Lighty had been all had been fired from the two 9mm pistols found in his vehicle, the report said. The two guns and 200 rounds of ammunition were found on the front passenger side of the minivan, according to investigators.

“After our thorough analysis, we have determined that the facts and evidence of this incident prove that the law enforcement officer reasonably believed he was in fear of imminent death or great bodily harm to himself, other deputies, and civilians when he used deadly force,” the report said. “He also did not have a duty to retreat.”

Lighty was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, where he remains on a $605,000 bond. He is facing three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon.

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