Tampa Police are mourning the loss of a 911 dispatcher, killed Thursday in a murder-suicide.
Police say Deanna Mendoza was dispatch trainer, and was named TPD's Employee of the Month in January, 2012. She was recognized for volunteering to assist supervisors with training new dispatchers on the midnight shift. She also received praise for her ability to calmly handle chaotic emergency situations and for continuously displaying an upbeat attitude.
Mendoza leaves behind three children.
Hillsborough Deputies say they found the bodies of Mendoza and her estranged husband Pedro Mendoza, inside a vehicle at 8361 Galewood Circle, in the Pinehurst community of Town 'N Country. Investigators believe Deanna had driven to the home where her husband was living, and when she arrived, Pedro Mendoza shot her as she sat in the driver's seat. Then, they believe Pedro climbed into the back seat, and shot and killed himself.
Chief Jane Castor sent this email to TPD employees today:
It is with great sadness that I inform you that we have lost a family member.
Deanna Mendoza was the victim of a domestic homicide earlier today. Her life was taken by her estranged husband, who in turn killed himself. The investigation is being handled by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, as this occurred in the county.
Deanna has been a part of the TPD family since 2009. She was hired as a Communications Technician I and worked her way up to Communications Technician III. She was a valued member of our team and a wonderful person. She leaves behind three children, other family members and countless friends.
We have attempted to personally notify everyone in the Communications Division, as she has worked all shifts and touched everyone's life. Grief counselors are at the Communications Division now, assisting with needs as they arise.
Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. I will provide additional information as it becomes available.
200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606
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