Brandon man shot by deputies after stabbing cat, charging at the - WFLA News Channel 8

Brandon man shot by deputies after stabbing cat, charging at them with knife

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Deputies investigate the shooting incident in Brandon Deputies investigate the shooting incident in Brandon
Lew G. Tyree II, booking photo from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Sept. 2013 Lew G. Tyree II, booking photo from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Sept. 2013

Deputies shot and killed a man armed with a large butcher knife in Brandon early Tuesday morning, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Around 5:45 a.m. Tuesday, deputies were called to 3117 Bloomingdale Villas Court where Sheriff David Gee says the suspect, 41-year-old Lew Tyree II of Brandon, was carrying a large butcher knife. Sheriff said Tyree stabbed a cat and then tried to break into a house.

"He was apparently trying to break down the window by the time deputies pulled up. He was successful in cracking the window. He did not get into the apartment," said Gee.

George Smith said Tyree showed up at his door, saying, "where's my peeps at?" and trying to get in.

Tyree broke his mother's window and slashed his tires also, Smith said.

"That was really shocking because even though he might have had issues he really didn't seem like a violent person," said neighbor Andrea Campbell, who said she usually saw Tyree sitting outside.

"He had worked as a barber and served in the military, possibly the Army, and talked about going to the VA Hospital," she said.

Representatives for the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed with News Channel 8 that Tyree was a veteran and did receive services at the VA.

Gee says three deputies confronted Tyree and attempted to calm him down. One deputy deployed his Taser but was unsuccessful.

Deputies made several commands for him to drop his weapon; however he would not comply, the sheriff said.

That is when Tyree apparently turned toward the deputies and made threatening comments. Fearing for their lives, all three deputies fired at him.

"Heard a bunch of gunshots, bunch of yelling, get on the ground! Get on the ground!" Neighbor Willie Fraley said, "We came out and there was a body on the ground."

Gee says his three deputies, Deputy Steve Gutierrez, Deputy Marina Stroud and Deputy James Maiello, have been placed on paid administrative leave. He feels the deputies did everything they could to calm the man down.

"From initial contacts with witnesses, it looked like they were in a position where they really had no choice," said Gee.

Sheriff Gee said it appeared Tyree may have had some mental issues. He said the suspect had set some clothes on fire outside of his house before the incident happened.

The case is still under investigation.

The sheriff's office said the cat reported to have been stabbed had not been found and may have been a stray.

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