A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy is suspected of killing his wife and then turning the gun on himself while the couple’s four children were in the home, according to Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.

The shooting happened at a new subdivision in Land O’ Lakes called Bexley Branch.

Investigators said they got a call around midnight Sunday about a shooting that happened in the 17000 block of Terrazzo Way.

Nocco said a 14-year-old called 911 while running from the home.

Deputies arrived to the home and found Samantha Keithley, 33, dead on a couch downstairs.

Deputies then went upstairs and found Kirk Keithley, 39, dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the sheriff. Keithley was a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Nocco said three children under the age of 14 were also upstairs, but it does not appear that they witnessed anything.

Deputies say the couple each had one child from a previous relationship and then two children together. The oldest child is 14 years-old.

Sheriff Nocco said the deputy did not use his HCSO issued-revolver in the shooting. There have been no previous 911 calls for service at the home.

The sheriff asked the community to pray for the children. “It’s devastating what happened out here this morning,” said Nocco. “Just pray for these kids.”

Kristin Kellin was Keithley’s best friend. 

She received a text message from her friend shortly before Keithley was shot and killed.

“Kirk was a deputy and to be honest, I never thought in a million years this would happen,” Kellin told News Channel 8.

“They have babies… and I want people to know that she was an incredible mother and she put her children first and the saddest thing is that those kids won’t have a mom or a dad.”

Kellin said she would have told her friend to get away in a heartbeat, had she known something like this could happen.

“I think everybody has marital problems but nothing that would indicate to me or any of our other close friends that she was… that this would happen.”

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister released the following statement about the tragedy:

“Unfortunately, last night, one of our deputies was involved in a tragic event where he took his wife’s life and then his own. I cannot begin to express how disheartened I am. Domestic Violence has no place in our society.

I ask that everyone join me and the rest of our office and pray for those innocent children who are left behind and have to pick up the pieces. This is something that is impossible to comprehend for even the most seasoned person. Please keep them in your hearts as we all try to make our way through this
tragedy.”

Sheriff Chronister said the HCSO has made every resource within its employee assistance programs available to any employee who may be struggling.

Sheriff Chronister said Deputy Keithley had worked at the HCSO for nine years and three months. He worked as a patrol deputy in District 2 and had previously worked for the St. Petersburg Police Department.

If you or someone you love is in a dangerous situation or suicidal call 211 to speak with someone from the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay who can help.