RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) — Body cam video released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office showed the moment when deputies confronted a 14-year-old who they say murdered his mother.
On Saturday, Tiffany Harris, 39, and her boyfriend were both shot multiple times at a home in the Summerfield subdivision in Riverview. Harris was found dead in a driveway while her boyfriend was hospitalized in critical condition.
“The scene behind me is one that nightmares are made of,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said during a press conference Saturday.
According to Chronister, the suspect in the shooting was Harris’ own son.
The sheriff said Harris’ older son saw his younger brother shoot their mother in their home. The older brother then ran away, fearing for his life.
Officials said after the shooting, deputies encountered the 14-year-old suspect wandering through the neighborhood, threatening to kill himself six times while putting the gun to his head.
Body cam video showed deputies trying to convince the suspect not to hurt himself.
“Whatever happened today, it can be fixed!” the deputy wearing the camera said. “Don’t pull the trigger!”
Using a non-lethal launcher, the deputies managed to knock the gun out of the teenager’s hand, but they still had to talk him down.
The video showed the deputy slowly convincing the suspect to walk over, pleading with him not to reach for his weapon again.
“My gun is only out cause I don’t know what you’re gonna do,” the deputy said, promising to put his weapon away once the teenager safely surrendered.
Step by step, the teenager slowly walked to the deputies before lying down on the grass, allowing the deputy to handcuff him. The deputy then asked who the teenager shot.
“Whatever choices you made, that’s the best choice you made all day long, thank you,” the deputy said, referring to the suspect dropping his gun and surrendering to authorities.
It took deputies a total of 16 minutes to get the teenager to de-escalate from harming himself, according to the sheriff’s office.
Chronister praised the deputies’ actions in getting the suspect to peacefully surrender.
“It is incredible to see the deputies in this video remain calm, build a rapport with the young suspect, and talk him down from hurting himself or anyone else,” he said. “This is a testament to the deputies’ training and knowledge and use of the de-escalation tools they’ve been given. They work, and they save lives.”
The suspect was charged with murder in the second degree, attempted murder in the first degree, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, deputies said.