LITHIA — After growing up as the son of a military officer, Brody Missler decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Timothy Missler spent more than two decades in the U.S. Marines, eventually moving with his family to FishHawk Ranch and serving a stint in Tampa at Marine Corps Central Command before retiring from the service in 2016. Meantime, Brody Missler graduated from Newsome High School and the University of South Florida, and now has plans to enter the military himself.
Timothy Missler won’t be around to see that happen.
Two days before Thanksgiving, Brody Missler called 911 and told the operator he just shot his father in the family’s home, a newly-released court document shows.
Timothy Missler, a 50-year-old retired lieutenant colonel, was dead when deputies arrived at the house in the 15000 block of Starling Water Dr., according to a search warrant affidavit released by the Hillsborough Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office this week.
The affidavit shines new light on what happened in the home on Nov. 24, confirming who was involved and providing the younger Missler’s account of what happened.
Whether Brody Missler will face criminal charges in the shooting remains undetermined. The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office expects to get the case from the Sheriff’s Office soon, said state attorney spokesman Grayson Kamm. At that point, the state attorney’s homicide committee will review the investigation and make a recommendation to State Attorney Andrew Warren, Kamm said.
A Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said the investigation remains active and the office had no comment.
Brody Missler’s attorney told the Tampa Bay Times that he opened fire to defend himself and has cooperated with investigators.
“He acted in self-defense after he was battered, assaulted, and threatened with a firearm, which was recovered by law enforcement,” attorney Anthony Rickman said in a statement. “The facts and evidence show that this shooting was justified and was within the bounds of Florida law.”
The affidavit doesn’t say if there were any witnesses to the shooting. Rickman said no one was home at the time.
The affidavit answers questions that have lingered since the Sheriff’s Office first reported the shooting.
At the time, the Sheriff’s Office said the caller, a man in his 20s, told dispatchers that a male relative had threatened him with a gun. The caller said he armed himself because he was in fear for his life then shot the relative, a man in his 50s, a number of times.
The Sheriff’s Office did not release names of the people involved but the Times reported two days after the shooting that Timothy Missler was likely the victim in the case.
Deputies obtained search warrants on the day of the shooting for the home and for a 2014 Audi parked there.
According to the warrant affidavit, Brody Missler called 911 shortly before 7 p.m. that day and said he shot his father. He told investigators that before the shooting, his father shoved him and went to a cabinet to retrieve a gun.
“Brody Missler stated that he wasn’t sure what he was going to do so he shot him in the back,” the affidavit said. “Once his father was on the ground, (Brody) wasn’t sure if he had a gun or not, so he shot his father a second time.”
Brody Missler said he placed the gun on a table and had a holster on his hip. During the 911 call, he used another phone to call his mother and told her he “just shot dad,” according to the affidavit.
Deputies arrived to find Brody Missler in front of the house and detained him. Inside, deputies found Timothy Missler’s body on the floor in the kitchen/dining room area. He had what appeared to be a gunshot wound in the back of his head.
Deputies also found a handgun on the floor near Timothy Missler’s feet and a second handgun on a table in the house.
The warrant affidavit written by Detective Christopher Cutler said deputies were investigating the shooting as a possible murder.
According to his Facebook and LinkedIn pages, Timothy Missler served in the Marines for 22 years, retired as a lieutenant colonel and went on to work as an instructor pilot for L3 Technologies.
From 2014 to 2016, he worked in Tampa at Marine Corps Central Command, or MARCENT, according to his LinkedIn profile. Among his duties, the profile says, was to supervise “three top secret and secret operational and concept supporting plans to Central Command’s ... series campaign plans.” The command is located at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base
His Facebook page, which appears to have been deactivated, described him as a “happily married father of two wonderful boys.” Records show he owned the FishHawk Ranch home with his wife Colleen.
Rickman, the attorney, said the family lived in a number of cities and countries around the world and came to Hillsborough after Timothy Missler’s deployment in Okinawa, Japan ended. At Newsome High, Brody excelled as a student and participated in the JROTC program, Rickman said. He graduated from USF with a degree in biomedical science and a minor in psychology. He is now working to get his EMT certification and has plans to join either the Army or Marines.
“The events on the night of this incident have been traumatic on Brody and his family, who all stand by and support him to this day,” Rickman said.