DUNEDIN - Pinellas County Sheriff's Office detectives are investigating a deputy-related shooting at a residence on Chesterfield Drive at 10:48 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12.
According to a report from the Sheriff's office, the shooting occurred after deputies responded to a residence to investigate a 10:31 a.m. 911 hang-up call.
Detectives said that deputies heard screams coming from inside the home, which was surrounded by a fence. The deputies borrowed a ladder from a neighboring home and climbed over the fence on the north side of the residence, according to the report.
Deputies entered a screened enclosure in the rear of the residence where they found a male and female engaged in a physical altercation in a corner of the screened room. The female, 42-year-old Deborah K. Yates was behind the male during the struggle, and the couple did not respond to verbal commands, the report said.
Deputy Jason Stibbard deployed a Taser, striking the male suspect later identified as 45-year-old Donald R. Yates. The couple separated because of the Taser deployment and, according to the report, the suspect rolled into a position in which he was pointing a handgun at the deputies.
Deputies Christine Smith and Christopher White saw the gun pointed at them and were in fear for their lives, the report said.
"The deputies were forced to fire a total of 8 rounds from their issued 45 caliber handguns at the suspect," according to the report.
The male suspect was struck multiple times in the torso and the legs. Following the shooting the suspect was transported by medical helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg where he died.
Detectives said the female was struck in the left leg by gunfire. She was transported by medical helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg where she was admitted.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the female was in the process of preventing the suspect from committing suicide when the deputies arrived.
Deputies have responded to three calls for service at the residence during the past six months, according to the Sheriff's Office report. On July 26, deputies were dispatched to the Yates residence for a report of family trouble. On Oct. 25, deputies responded to a report of a battery at the residence. Florida State Statue 119 prevents the release of information regarding an incident that occurred on Nov. 12.
Deputies Smith and White have been placed on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy. The Homicide Unit is continuing the investigation. Members of the Administrative Investigation Bureau have been informed of the incident. In addition, an investigator and an attorney from the State Attorney's Office responded to the scene.
Deputy Smith has been employed with the Sheriff's Office since July 24, 1995. Deputy White has been employed since Nov. 1, 1993.
According to the Sheriff's Office report, Corp. John Davis, who also responded to the incident, was injured when climbing the fence.