Pasco deputies kill suspected arsonist after ambush - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco deputies kill suspected arsonist after ambush

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The shooting scene in New Port Richey The shooting scene in New Port Richey
Patrick Tillery's mug Patrick Tillery's mug
One of the cars on the lot Tillery tried to set on fire One of the cars on the lot Tillery tried to set on fire
NEW PORT RICHEY, FL (WFLA) -

A man suspected of trying to burn down two used car lots is dead after a shootout with Pasco County deputies. Several small children were inside the New Port Richey home when it happened early Thursday morning.

“Make no mistake about it. His actions were caused by him. We reacted to him shooting on us,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. "I thank God our deputies are alive today."

Nocco says Patrick Tillery, 43, was caught on surveillance video Wednesday night setting fire to two locations of Rock Bottom Auto Sales. One of the used car lots is on SR 52 and the other is on US 19 in Hudson.

When deputies tracked Tillery down at his home on Yucca Drive in New Port Richey Thursday at 1 a.m., his wife told them he wasn’t home.

“She tells the deputies you can come into the home. She gets the dog and brings it into the room where Patrick Tillery is. Tillery gets a gun and he positions himself to ambush our deputies,” explained Nocco.

Nocco said Tillery fired the first shot when deputies went inside at 1:24 a.m. Three deputies returned fire and killed him. No one else was injured. The suspect’s young children were in the room right next to where the shootout happened.

“You’re going to put your kids in that type of situation, it’s absolutely horrific,” said Nocco.

Tillery has a long criminal record dating back to 1998. He spent time in prison for burglary, aggravated assault, and grand theft. Nocco said Tillery recently purchased a vehicle from Rock Bottom Auto, then got into an argument about it with the owner.

Tillery’s wife could face charges for her role in the ambush. Their children are now in protective custody. The three deputies involved are now on paid administrative leave.

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