Suspect who shot 70-year-old neighbor in Spring Hill shooting kills self, neighbor survives

SPRING HILL - Shots fired in Spring Hill led to a neighborhood being evacuated, two schools, Spring Hill Elementary and Challenger, being placed on lockdown, one man in the hospital, and a standoff with law enforcement.

Things spun out of control at around 9:30 Tuesday morning and played out over the course of the afternoon, ending with one man dead.

Early Tuesday morning, two neighbors got into some sort of altercation, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

They believe one of the men, 58-year-old Thomas Brocato, then entered his 70-year-old neighbor's house, shooting him at least twice.

The victim, William Stelling, shot was airlifted to a hospital. The extent of his injuries are still unknown.

Brocato then retreated into his home. The Hernando County Swat team surrounded the home and tried to make contact with the man inside.

According to neighbors, Brocato was not liked and had issues with many in the area.

"The whole neighborhood," Ron Kane  explained.

"He's been kind of shady to everybody."

After failing to make contact with Brocato, the SWAT team moved cautiously after dispensing chemicals into the home.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said some of his deputies  picked up a strong odor of gas in the area.

When they entered the house, they found out that Brocato had not only doused himself in gasoline, he took his own life with a single shot.

When Brocato's neighbor Matt McCabe heard the news , he said, "I'm happy."

"What do you want me to say. I didn't like him. I'm glad he's dead," he continued.


William, the 70-year-old who was shot, is listed in stable condition.
 

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