Hillsborough Sheriff's Office: Man who stabbed cat shot is shot, killed after charging at deputies with butcher knife

12:52 PM, Mar 4, 2014   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +



Brandon, Florida -- Sheriff David Gee says a man burned his clothes, stabbed a cat, and charged with a butcher knife, forcing deputies to shoot him.

Three deputies shot and killed Lew G. Tyree II at around 5:45 Tuesday morning after the bizarre and scary encounter in the Bloomingdale area.

Neighbors in the Bloomingdale Villas neighborhood off Bloomingdale Avenue tell 10 News the 41-year-old man may have had mental health issues.

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee says Tyree set a pile of his clothes on fire near his duplex in the neighborhood.

Then, at around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, 911 calls from panicked neighbors started coming in. 

Tyree, who everybody has seen around the neighborhood before, was out roaming the street in the dark with a butcher knife.

"Then he went over to the neighbor's house. He stabbed a cat, which we have not located yet," Gee said.

The cat ran off; deputies aren't sure how seriously it was hurt.

"Then he started smashing the windows out of an apartment where someone was occupying it," Gee said.

Gee said as his deputies showed up, Tyree came toward them in the street, still holding that large knife.

"He was extremely aggressive with the deputies. They attempted to taser him. That was apparently ineffective," Gee said.

Deputies are allowed to use deadly force if someone carrying a knife is less than 21 feet away from them, Gee said. In this case, deputies waited longer.

But as Tyree closed to within ten or twelve feet of them, Gee said the three deputies all opened fire.

"They looked like they were in a position where they really had no choice," Gee said.

Tyree was taken to the hospital, but did not survive. All of the deputies are okay.

Several neighbors told 10 News Tyree was quiet and friendly, but seemed to be living with mental health issues.

"It's possible that he might have had some kind of something going on, 'cause he seemed a little 'off' at times. You know, like, not all there," neighbor Raymond Rivera said.

Gee said from his early review of the facts, it appears the three deputies did everything they reasonably could to try to end the situation without violence.

One of the deputies who opened fire is a Crisis Intervention deputy, trained to calm down delicate situations and handle people with mental illnesses and other issues.

Gee said when a deputy with training like that feels his only choice is to shoot, then it's a clear sign that deadly force was justified for the deputies trying to protect themselves.

You may also like...

Beach Treasure: Lost wedding ring found 8 months later

Nudist Lawsuit: Blind woman sues for having service dog refused

Reptile Invasion: Exotic "tegu lizards" taking over Tampa Bay

Dream Date: High schooler taking NFL cheerleader to the prom

Underwater Secret: Hidden caves beneath Weeki Wachee

Send in the Clowns: Clown shortage threatens the nation

Sasquatch on Tour: "Dead Bigfoot" on display in Texas

Eat Up: Yoga mat chemical found in hundreds of store foods

#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Most Watched Videos