‘Armed gunman’ arrested after firing several shots at deputies in Brandon, officials say

Hillsborough County

BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — A South Carolina “armed gunman” was arrested on East Brandon Boulevard Thursday after police say he fired several shots at officers near the Washed Up Car Wash In Brandon.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Daniel Lighty, 35, shot at approaching deputies multiple times. According to Sheriff Chad Chronister, a round just missing one deputy by mere inches.

“The round hit the vehicle just behind the front seat of the passenger side of her patrol car,” Chronister said. “Just a few inches forward, I would be sitting here having a much different discussion with you this afternoon.”

Chronister added that Lighty then reloaded his gun before firing several more shots at deputies.

At that time, Lighty entered his car and called 911 dispatchers before a crisis negotiator could join the call.

“He was irate about the mental health treatment he had recently received here at one of the local hospitals,” Chronister said.

After several minutes of negotiations, Lighty agreed to surrender peacefully.

“Everyone knows that I’m the biggest advocate when it comes to mental health treatment and getting those individuals in our community the help that they need,” Chronister said. “But that certainly, not for a fraction of a moment, justifies what this individual did here today by trying to murder three of our deputies that were doing nothing but protect the community here today.”

Justin Wright works at an auto repair shop not far from where the shots were fired.

“I heard like 8 rounds, or pow, pow, pow, or bang, bang or sound like a gun going off because I know the difference between a gun and a firecracker,” said Wright.

Ricky Nguyen also works in the area and says he also heard the shots and watched as a suspect was taken into custody.

“Out of nowhere, we hear a bunch of rapid gunfire shots, so we run outside and see a bunch of traffic and commotion. I don’t know, it was crazy,” Nguyen said.

Authorities said there were no injuries during the shooting. Lighty faces several charges including three counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

If you or a loved one is dealing with a mental health crisis you can call 2-1-1 day or night, seven days a week.

This is a developing story. Stay up to date on the latest from News Channel 8 on-air and on the go with the free WFLA News Channel 8 mobile app.

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