TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A former Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office volunteer died by suicide early Monday morning after sexually battering two people in Riverview, according to officials.
Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski said Edward Brito, who previously worked as a volunteer and a reserve deputy for the sheriff’s office, approached a woman outside her home in Riverview at around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday and forced her inside at gunpoint.
“During the course of the evening, he sexually battered both subjects and then at one point, turned the firearm on himself and shot himself,” Lusczynski said.
The two victims called 911 at around 4:30 a.m. They did not suffer life-threatening injuries, according to deputies.
Brito worked for the sheriff’s office as a volunteer and reserve II deputy from Feb. 22, 2021, to June 5, 2022. His volunteer status was terminated after a domestic violence injunction was filed against Brito in June, according to the release.
The chief deputy said Brito underwent a thorough background check prior to his employment as a volunteer.
“Unfortunately, in this case, there was nothing that indicated anything like this would occur,” she said.
The sheriff’s office said the injunction was filed due to a sexual battery accusation from one of the victims in Monday’s incident. His agency-issued equipment was confiscated on June 5, 2022.
“We do know that somehow he obtained a firearm to kill himself, and that’s what we are trying to determine, how did he get that gun,” Lusczynski said.
The sheriff’s office said it was waiting on DNA results from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement related to the June case, which could have resulted in criminal charges.
“While mental health is often a factor in incidents of suicide, the actions of this former volunteer are monstrous and a clear example of domestic violence,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “Our agency goes through great lengths to identify individuals like this who should never wear the badge of Deputy Sheriff, from extensive background checks, polygraphs, interviews with neighbors, and personal and professional references. Domestic violence of any kind is never acceptable and is not tolerated within or outside of our agency, regardless of one’s status as a sworn, civilian, or volunteer employee.
“I encourage anyone experiencing domestic violence to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for help at 813-247-8200 or reach out to one of many local resources, such as our community partners at the Spring of Tampa Bay at 813-247-7233,” Chronister added.
Brito’s death remains under investigation.