Sheriff: Deputy shot man who was chasing him with a knife

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Tampa.

Around 6 p.m., deputies responded to reports of a suicidal person in the 8600 block of Misty River Circle.

A relative of the man in question called 911 and said that 48-year-old Lenny Griffin had taken medication and was threatening to kill himself. HCSO Deputy Nguyen Tran responded to the home and Griffin’s girlfriend let him inside. Griffin then came out of a bedroom with a large chef’s knife in his hand. Tran ordered Griffin to drop the knife multiple times as Griffin approached him with the knife raised about his shoulders. Tran ran out of the home, through the front yard and into a neighbor’s yard about 150 feet away while still ordering Griffin to drop the knife.

Griffin did not follow any of the commands which led Tran to fire at Griffin out of fear for his own life. Griffin was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

Tran was hired by HCSO in 2016 and has no prior internal affairs incidents other than a traffic crash. The sheriff’s office has been called to Griffin’s home in the past for a mental health evaluation and several welfare checks.

Tran is being placed on administrative leave as the incident is being investigated.

No further information has been released at this time.

If you or a relative is experiencing a mental health issue, you are urged to call the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay at 211.

This is a developing story, please check back for the latest updates.


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