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Crisis Center says family stress is increasing domestic violence calls

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Just before 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening a 911 call came in from a man in his 20’s saying he’d just shot an adult relative.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office says the two men had been arguing when one of them pulled out a gun. The caller got his own gun and shot and killed the other man.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says detectives are investigating, but no charges have been filed.

“They will collect all of the information, they will pass it along to the state attorney’s office who will make a final determination if criminal charges will be filed or if it will be some kind of stand your ground case,” said Merissa Lynn with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting shocked many in the normally quiet Fishhawk Ranch neighborhood where it happened.

“Everybody was extremely just taken by shock. No one expected this. It’s a quiet family neighborhood,” said Julianne Nunlist who lives just down the street. “My first thought was just families together, holiday might have just been an argument that broke out. You know how families can be, no one tends to agree with each other.”

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay says calls about domestic violence are up for a variety of reasons.

“All of them being exacerbated by COVID19, by the political stress that we’ve all been under, the stress from the weather, the financial stress, all of that and the fact that people haven’t been able to leave their homes,” said Clara Reynolds with the Crisis Center.

Reynolds says the increase in stress and anxiety is a recipe for violence to occur.

“The week of the election, in a normal week, whatever normal looks like in our world nowadays, we would take between 70 and 100 suicide calls from individuals here in Hillsborough County, that were contemplating suicide. The week of the election we took over 180,” said Reynolds who adds this year’s holiday season is coming with more stress than ever. “For families and for individuals that would normally be able to do a Friendsgiving or something like that, they are being isolated and they are being forced, for lack of a better word, to have to stay home and that’s creating tremendous stress and also think about those families who have loved ones that may be elderly, they may be sick so they are not going to be able to see those individuals and so you add guilt on top of everything else and so again, it’s been one thing after another, after another with no end in sight,” said Reynolds.

The Crisis center can be reached by calling 211 and Reynolds urged people to reach out.

“Even though we have all been impacted, oftentimes we all feel like we are the only ones that are feeling this sense of isolation and this sense of despair,” said Reynolds.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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