HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A knife-wielding man was shot and killed by deputies in Tampa after he allegedly cut his mother on the arm on Thursday, authorities said.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said deputies responded to the River Pointe Apartments on Hidden River Drive after the woman sustained a laceration on her arm and ran into a leasing office to call 911.
Three deputies found the suspect, Romello Barnes, as he tried leaving the complex and chased him into an apartment. They ordered him to drop his knife, but he refused, so they deployed K9 Tonto, but he wouldn’t budge, according to Chronister.
“The three deputies are still in fear for their life and are forced to fire their service weapons, striking the suspect, who succumbed to his injuries and is at the scene deceased,” Chronister said during a press conference.
Chronister said Barnes’ family recently moved to Florida and that deputies have already been called to their home at least nine times this year for a variety of incidents. His criminal history includes two misdemeanors.
Deputy Matthew Moyer, Deputy Michael Guerra and Deputy Jomar Morales Colon, were each placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol for deputy-involved shootings.
“I walked out and seen all of this and first thing I thought of was, it’s that lady up in her apartment. This is all about her and her son,” neighbor Samantha Johnson said.
Neighbors tell 8 On Your Side the mom and son fought often and one time, they said he locked her in her bathroom at knifepoint.
Deputies were called to that incident on Dec. 2, but Barnes wasn’t taken to jail, Chronister said.