APOPKA, Fla. (AP) — A former Orlando police officer who shot and killed his 22-year-old son Saturday night told investigators he "got into a funk" and "lost it" when he pulled the trigger.
Timothy Allen Davis Sr., 47, was charged with first-degree murder after police said he shot Timothy Davis Jr. once in the chest with a .38-caliber handgun in the garage of their Apopka home.
Davis Sr. is an 18-year veteran who retired as a lieutenant from the force in 2006. His son was pronounced dead Sunday morning at Orlando Regional Medical Center, authorities said.
The former robbery detective had both his hands around his son as he apologized to him, saying he didn't mean to do it and he loved him, according to an Apopka police investigative report.
Moments before, neighbors said, they saw the son stagger out of the garage, collapse and hit his head on the driveway pavement. Witnesses said the two were yelling at each other earlier in the day.
Investigators said the father and son had argued about custody of Davis Jr.'s 3-year-old son.
A "squabble" between Davis Jr. and his ex-girlfriend ended with the woman taking the boy from the home.
As she left with the child, the younger Davis got into a heated argument with his father. The elder Davis told his son that he had no custody rights and he "needed to let the court system handle it," the report said.
Tim Davis Jr. cursed at his father, then tackled and punched him inside the home, the report shows. Davis' wife, Tarsha Davis, broke up the fight. It is unclear how much time passed before the confrontation turned deadly.
Davis Sr.'s 9-year-old daughter told police she was outside when she saw her father walk out of the home with a bloody mouth.
That, investigators say, is when the former cop went to his car and got his gun.
The girl told police that she watched as her father "just took the gun and shot" her brother. She ran inside to her mother, who had heard two gunshots.
"I didn't mean to kill him," Davis told police. "I wasn't trying to kill him; I just lost it."
Neighbors said they heard Davis tell his son "just to breathe" while Davis Jr. reassured his father that he was OK.
On Sunday afternoon, neighbor Sean Chambers said he was working in his garage when he saw cop cars surround the home the previous night. When he walked over, Chambers said, he heard Davis Sr. and his son say they loved each other.
"They're good people," said Chambers, who has known the family for nearly a decade and watched Davis Jr. play football at nearby Apopka High. "I'm sorry to hear what happened."
Police said they took the elder Davis into custody after he confessed to the shooting and pulled the gun from his pocket. They arrested him despite his son's protests, neighbors said.
Davis Jr. died at the hospital. Davis Sr. was treated for a knee injury before he was taken to the Orange County Jail.
State records show Davis Sr. owns a few child-care facilities in Orange and Seminole counties, including Park Avenue Child Care and Learning Center in Apopka.
During his time as an Orlando police officer, Davis Sr. was assigned to a unit that served high-crime neighborhoods such as Parramore and worked with youths on violence-prevention programs.
Reached Sunday night, Apopka High coach Rick Darlington was stunned by the news of his former player's death.
"I don't know what to say. I am just devastated," Darlington said. "He was awesome. Just a great young man."
The younger Davis was a former Apopka High football star who also played as a defensive lineman for the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Police said they arrived at the home on Kings Eagle Lane in Apopka about 6:30 p.m. and found Davis Sr. and his bleeding son in the driveway.
Copyright Associated Press
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