Self-defense considered in deadly Plant City business shooting

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) - A second person has died following a shooting at a business in unincorporated Plant City on Monday.

Detectives with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office say the shooting happened around 4 p.m. at Bliss Enterprises on Knights Griffin Road East.

Detectives say owner Richard Bliss was arguing with two men when he took out a gun and shot them.

Another person who was outside the office heard the gunshots and, according to deputies, went inside and shot Bliss.

Bliss was pronounced dead at the scene. The two men who were shot were transported to a local hospital.

William C. Duncan, 43, died from his injuries on Monday night.

On a GoFundMe page for Duncan, friends wrote that he was a "gentle giant" and a generous person who tried to help those in need.

No details have been released regarding the identity or condition of the other shooting victim.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says a woman related to the two other men shot Bliss.

She has not been charged and is being interviewed by investigators.

"The stories that we're getting are consistent enough to, at minimum, pursue stand your ground or self-defense,” Chronister said. 

Chronister says it’s still early but the final decision will be up to the state attorney on whether someone will be charged. 

"It's horrible that we've become such a violent society and that we don't communicate a little more and we often resort to violence. I hate that,” Chronister said.

Colonel Donna Lusczynski with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says the argument and shooting stemmed from a dispute that’s been ongoing for several weeks.

“It was over being on the property. They were staying on the property here and they had asked them to leave several times,” Lusczynski said.

She says deputies are still looking into whether or not law enforcement was notified about the dispute before the shooting on Monday. 

“We’re still trying to get the timing of that because some calls went to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and some went to ours,” Lusczynski said. “So we’re working out those details but that’s something we want to determine.”

The location of the shooting is right near the Hillsborough-Polk County line. Both agencies responded to the scene.

Hillsborough detectives are interviewing people who were on the property as they continue their investigation into what happened.

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