Suspected arsonist killed after exchanging gunfire with Pasco County deputies

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Patrick Gerome Tillery was killed by deputies early Thursday morning after he fired a gun at them, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Suspected of an arson attempt on an auto dealer, deputies attempted to contact Tillery around 1:00 a.m. at a home in New Port Richey.

Deputies said the man's wife told them Tillery wasn't home, and let them inside at 1:24.

Tillery, 43, immediately began shooting at the deputies, and they returned fire.  Tillery died from his gunshot wounds.

Tillery's wife and two or three children home at the time were not injured.

Pasco Sheriff's Office deputies were not injured in the exchange.

Tillery was suspected of setting fires Wednesday evening to cars and the business at two different locations of Rock Bottom Auto Sales, one on US 19 and another on SR 52.  Deputies said he also made threats against the owner after a dispute surrounding an auto purchase.

Tillery's wife may be charged for her part in the ambush.

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