PINELLAS PARK — The two SWAT officers who shot and killed an armed 47-year-old man on April 10 hours after he shot his wife were justified in their actions.
That was the finding of the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office, which investigated the shooting. The Pinellas Park Police Department on Thursday announced the results of prosecutors' inquiry into the actions of Officer Joshua Pringle, 33, and Officer Per Haugland, 36.
The incident started when David Eugene Wittman shot his wife Anna May Wittman multiple times in the parking lot of her workplace, police said, then barricaded himself inside their home. Police said he brandished a weapon during negotiations with officers. Police also believed he may have had an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and other weapons inside the house.
After 6½-hours, police said they tried to take the husband into custody using non-lethal force. But then he went back into the house and armed himself, police said. The two SWAT officers fatally shot the husband, who police said did not fire at them.
Prosecutors determined the two officers acted within the "lawful performance of their legal duties," the police agency said. Pringle has been with the department for nine years and Haugland has spent four years there. Both were placed on paid leave during the investigation but can now return to work.
Police have not said what circumstances led the 47-year-old husband to kill the 42-year-old wife. She was pronounced dead on April 16 at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg hospital.
Contact McKenna Oxenden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @mack_oxenden.