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Pasco Sheriff's Office says man was shot in lower torso after standoff with deputies in Holiday

Published Dec. 23, 2014

HOLIDAY — A sheriff's sergeant fired four rounds at a Holiday man early Friday, striking him in the lower torso, after the man battered his girlfriend, refused to leave his home and charged at deputies with a heavy wooden nightstand, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Arrest reports released Monday by the Sheriff's Office revealed additional information about the domestic battery and subsequent standoff between deputies and 42-year-old Aaron Martin.

Martin and his girlfriend began fighting while she drove her car, a report says. She asked him to get out, and he reached over to turn off the car and remove the keys. They began to fight over the keys, the report says, when Martin pushed his girlfriend's head against the window and pushed his elbow against her throat. She struggled to breathe.

Martin then hit her in her right eye with the keys, threw the keys at her and got out of the car, the report says.

Authorities responded to Martin's home at 3252 Windfield Drive about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Martin would not answer the door when deputies knocked, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The deputies tried to negotiate with him, an arrest report says. Finally, the deputies breached the front door, where Martin "was standing in the doorway defiantly but would not come outside."

The woman's ex-husband, mother and son all had reported she had been beaten. Deputies said they could not calm Martin down.

He ran into another room, turned off the lights and refused to let the woman's son leave, according to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies found the woman in a bedroom and tried to get her out through a bedroom window, but she was unresponsive.

Authorities said they used a pepper spray fogger on Martin, and he threw a glass vase at them. Deputies then used a Taser to stun him, but he was unfazed.

That's when, authorities said, Martin picked up the nightstand and ran out the front door toward officers. Sgt. Jay Galassi fired four rounds from his MP-5 rifle, striking Martin in the lower torso.

"They were in fear for their lives as he continued to advance toward them," the report says.

Martin continued to struggle after being shot "and had to be subdued" by deputies.

"We did every possible nonlethal form to ensure this would end safely," Sheriff Chris Nocco told Bay News 9.

Both Martin and the woman were taken to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. The woman has since been released. No deputies were hurt.

Martin was charged with attempted homicide of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and domestic battery. He has been arrested several times before, according to the Sheriff's Office, including on charges of domestic violence.

In an interview with the Sheriff's Office, Martin said he was "under the influence of drugs and did not remember what had occurred," according to an arrest report.

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Times staff writer Zachary T. Sampson and researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

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