1. News

'Baby, let me in,' man with knife had cried out before deputies shot him dead in domestic call

Investigators collect evidence Friday morning at the scene of a fatal shooting in the 300 block of Shell Manor Drive. Two Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies fired on a man who threatened them with a large knife. [TONY MARRERO l Times]
Published Jul. 6

RUSKIN — Luis Escamilla had a feeling something bad was about to happen at the house down the street.

Escamilla was sitting on his porch with his stepfather about 1:30 a.m. Friday when he saw a man banging on the door and window of the house on the corner of 15th Street and Shell Manor Drive.

The man was calling out to someone inside.

"He was saying, 'Baby, let me in, I'm sorry this happened, it ain't gonna happen no more,'" Escamilla recalled.

Suddenly, sheriff's patrol cars appeared, their red and blue lights flashing.

A moment later, shots rang out.

"I heard the deputies say, 'Drop what you got in your hand," said Escamilla, 46. "He came toward one deputy and that's when they shot him."

The man, 37, was brandishing a large knife and refused commands to drop it, forcing two deputies to open fire, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He died at the hospital. The Sheriff's Office had not released his name Friday afternoon.

The incident began with a call about a domestic dispute at the home in the 300 block of Shell Manor Drive, in the Shell Point Manor subdivision, Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski said at a news conference.

When deputies arrived, they saw the man in the street holding a knife, Lusczynski said.

The man refused commands to put down the knife and approached the deputies in a threatening manner, she said. Master Deputy Jessica Ennis and Deputy Daniel DeLima fired on the man, hitting him a number of times.

A woman and several children were inside the home.

"They gave multiple commands to drop the knife, he continued to approach them with the knife raised and they unfortunately had to use deadly force to save their lives," Lusczynski said.

Escamilla, the neighbor, said the man fell to the ground and was "flopping like a fish," shouting, "I'm hurt, I'm hurt."

The man was taken by medical helicopter to Tampa General Hospital to undergo surgery. He died there later Friday morning.

Forensics workers and detectives were at the scene through the morning. Yellow crime scene tape ringed the block, and evidence markers dotted the ground in front of the two-story, olive green house.

The man has a lengthy criminal history, with some 30 felony charges including aggravated assault, aggravated child abuse, carjacking, domestic battery, being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed firearm, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Ennis, 37, has been with the Sheriff's Office for 12 years and is assigned to the K-9 division, Lusczynski said. DeLima, 25, joined the office three years ago.

Both deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

"We're just so thankful that the deputies involved in this incident are unharmed," Lusczynski said.

The shooting marks the third time this year that a Hillsborough deputy has shot someone in the line of duty.

On March 19, Master Deputy Kevin Stabins shot 52-year-old Jesus Calderon while responding to an attempted suicide call at a home off Bearss Avenue in Tampa. Stabins told investigators Calderon refused to drop a knife he was holding and advanced toward him. The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office found that the shooting was justified.

One week later, Deputy Daniel Estanislau shot a 17-year-old boy after responding to a domestic violence call at an apartment complex on Skipper Road. The Sheriff's Office has said the boy refused to commands to drop an object he was holding. Investigators did not find a weapon on the boy.

Estanislau's attorney, Steve Romine, told the Tampa Bay Times the teen was holding a cell phone that Estanislau thought was a gun. The shooting is still under investigation.

Contact Tony Marrero at or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.


  1. Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria, accused of stabbing and killing John Travlos and Germana Morin aboard their houseboat in 2013, testified on his own behalf at his murder trial in Pinellas County this week. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    It took the jury about four hours to find Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria guilty. Next they must decide whether to send him to Florida’s death row.
  2. Harold Fritz, 75, was awarded the nation's highest and rarest honor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in 1969. The Army lieutenant saved his platoon during an ambush in the Vietnam war. He spoke to students at Farnell Middle School in Tampa. MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times
    Harold Fritz wanted to talk about teachers’ salaries and education. The kids wanted selfies with one of the 71 living recipients of the nation’s highest honor.
  3. PDQ's new Trinity location features a self-serve sauce bar with seven signature sauces perfect for dipping chicken tenders. Courtesy of PDQ
    Both chains are expanding locally and held grand opening celebrations this month with giveaways and free food.
  4. Casey Cane has resigned as chair of Pinellas County’s Housing Finance Authority in the wake of a Tampa Bay Times story about his failure to disclose an arrest for a financial felony when he was 19. He also serves as a Palm Harbor fire commissioner. Casey Cane
    Casey Cane failed to disclose his arrest for a financial felony in 2006. He said he didn’t think he had to reveal that information.
  5. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speaks to about 75 people Tuesday at a city conference on innovation and collaboration. (City of Tampa photo by Janelle McGregor) Janelle McGregor
    City Hall brought together startups and the nonprofits that nurture them for a discussion of possible ideas to improve city operations and service.
  6. Scott Purcell, a senior geophysicist with GeoView, left, and Mike Wightman, president of GeoView, use ground-penetrating radar to scan a portion of King High School campus in search for Ridgewood Cemetery. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Preliminary answers from the ground-penetrating radar could come as soon as next week.
  7. A federal judge gas stayed the Nov. 7 execution of death row inmate James Dailey, 73, for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio. Left: Dailey at his 1987 trial, where he was convicted and sentenced to death. Middle: Dailey in 1993, when he was again sentenced to die. Right: The most current photo of Dailey on Florida's Death Row. Tampa Bay Times
    Dailey was set to be put to death Nov. 7. A judge ordered his execution to be postponed to give his attorneys time to present their claims. But the state can appeal.
  8. Markeith Loyd, suspected of fatally shooting a Florida police officer, attends his initial court appearance Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, at the Orange County Jail, in Orlando, Fla. Loyd spoke out of turn and was defiant during the appearance on charges of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend. He was injured during his arrest Tuesday night following a weeklong manhunt.
    The same jury found Loyd guilty last week of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting 24-year-old Sade Dixon outside her home in 2016.
  9. The new owner of a dilapidated mobile home park on Gandy Boulevard has sued the city of Tampa over a record-setting fine levied against the property for a massive tree removal in August. [CHARLIE FRAGO | Times]
    A Gandy Boulevard mobile home park owner is suing the city of Tampa over a record $420,000 fine .
  10. Dashboard camera video shows a Tampa police cruiser pursuing Dusharn Weems through a parking lot. A second later, Weems is fatally injured when the car strikes him. Courtesy Haydee Oropesa
    The family of Dusharn Weems, 23, claims an officer intentionally struck him after he was spotted driving a stolen car.