19-year-old dies after fatally shooting parents, wounding deputy in gunfight

Tampa shootout

TAMPA, Fla. — A 19-year-old west-central Florida man died in a shootout with deputies late Saturday after he killed his parents and wounded a deputy, authorities said.

According to a news release from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Christos Alexander Themelis Jr., 19, of Tampa, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The sheriff’s office said that Themelis killed his father, Christos Byron Themelis, 51; and his mother, Rebecca Ann Themelis, 48. Both were from Tampa, and their son lived with them, Sheriff Chad Chronister said.

Deputy Shane McGough, 26, suffered a gunshot wound to his leg. He is in stable condition and underwent surgery on Sunday, the sheriff said.

Deputies responded to a home on Cactus Wren Place in Tampa at 11:09 p.m. EDT after a woman called and said her husband had been shot, WFLA-TV reported. While the caller was on the phone, the dispatcher could hear several shots, according to the television station.

Deputies arriving at the scene found the 19-year-old suspect and his mother outside the residence, the sheriff’s office said.

After a standoff with Themelis Jr., the suspect fatally shot his mother and returned fire toward deputies, wounding McGough, according to the sheriff’s office.

Five deputies returned fire, causing the suspect to retreat into his home, the sheriff’s office said in its release.

One of the shots struck the suspect, who barricaded himself inside the residence, WFLA reported.

The sheriff’s office deployed its SWAT team, and deputies used a robot to enter the home through the front door.

“Unfortunately, the first person we encounter on the ground is the father,” Chronister said. “The father had succumbed to his injuries.”

The SWAT team then entered the home and discovered the suspect dead from his injuries in another room, WFLA reported.

“The monster we encountered this evening is responsible for not only injuring our deputy but also killing his own mother and father,” Chronister said in a statement. “Our deputies responded to a chaotic scene and immediately put themselves in harm’s way to protect our community. Without our deputy’s quick and skillful response, an entire neighborhood would have been in danger.”

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