NEW PORT RICHEY — A man who shot at deputies with a handgun and an AK-47 on Saturday, injuring at least one, remained unconscious Monday after suffering a gunshot wound to the head, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.
No charges have been filed yet against Terrance Peterson, 62, in connection with the discharge of his gun. It was still unclear if Peterson was injured by a deputy’s gunfire or his own. K-9 Deputy Chris Stone, 41, is now recovering after he was taken into surgery Saturday with a life-threatening gunshot to the leg, Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a press conference Monday. Stone was up walking with the help of medical staff by Sunday night.
Stone has been a deputy at the Sheriff's Office since 2017 and worked before as a Dade City K-9 officer, Nocco said. The gunshot severed his femoral artery, which could've caused him to bleed to death in a matter of minutes. Other deputies at the scene applied a tourniquet around his leg to stop the bleeding.
Retired firefighter William Ricci also ran to help deputies when he heard the gunfire, helping cut away Stone's pant leg with a knife to locate the wound, Nocco said.
"He got engaged. He saw what was happening. He saw the deputies get hurt," Nocco said. "As a retired paramedic, he stepped up."
A second K-9 deputy, Gary Stritt, also was injured during the confrontation. The Sheriff's Office originally reported that his hand was grazed by a bullet, but now the agency said it is unsure of how he was injured. Stritt was treated at the scene.
So far, Peterson faces a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence in connection with an incident that drew deputies to his house at 7349 Humbolt Ave. on Saturday. Peterson is accused of shooting an Alexa smart-assistant device after his wife gave the device a voice command, according to an arrest report. He then slapped his wife in the face.
Deputies arrived and tried for about 45 minutes to persuade Peterson to come out of the house, Nocco said. When he refused to leave, deputies entered the home and Peterson began shooting with a handgun.
Once Stone was hit in the leg, deputies retreated from the house to help him. Peterson changed position, grabbed an AK-47 rifle and began shooting out a window.
"That's just pure evil,” Nocco said. “To be standing by your window and shooting at our members as they're trying to get another member help.”
The gunfire eventually died down. Then, a SWAT team and negotiators tried to reach Peterson until about 4 a.m. They sent a gas bomb into the house then, hearing no response, a robot. The robot's camera showed Peterson motionless on the floor with blood on his head.
The Sheriff's Office is working with the State Attorney's Office to determine how many counts of attempted murder to file against Peterson considering all the deputies and fire-rescue paramedics were in the line of gunfire, Nocco said. The agency originally said he will be charged with at least five counts.
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