PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- A Pasco County, Florida, neighbor is hailed as a hero after deputies say he shot and killed an armed domestic violence suspect and helped free the victim's children from a dangerous scene.
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office responded to a call in the Trinity area a little before 7 p.m. Wednesday night. According to Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, the incident stemmed from a domestic violence attack.
Nocco said the domestic violence victim was inside the home, screaming for help. A neighbor who was mowing his lawn, heard the victim's cries and ran over to help.
As the victim was crying for help, she started moving a group of young children, who Nocco described as "elementary school children," to the home's second-story window. The neighbor helped lower the children to safety, Nocco said.
As the neighbor tried to deescalate the situation, the domestic violence suspect took out a gun and pointed at the neighbor.
The suspect opened fire but the neighbor was able to defend himself. The neighbor then shot the suspect, killing him on scene, Nocco said.
Nocco described the neighbor as "a hero."
"Protecting somebody's life is a priority," Nocco said in a press conference Wednesday night.
Nocco said deputies found blood in the house and the home was "in disarray." Officials did not specify the severity of the domestic violence victim's injuries or if she was hurt.
If you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, call the 1-800-500-1119 hotline to connect with experts at the DV center located nearest you. All 10 DV centers in the Tampa Bay area can be reached via the statewide DV hotline. For your own protection, the hotline number is untraceable and will not be displayed on your phone or phone bill.