Tampa man waving gun shot dead by HCSO deputies

Posted at 4:46 AM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 18:04:58-05

One man is dead and four Hillsborough County deputies are off the job following a shooting at the Windwood Oaks apartments in North Tampa.

Deputies shot Jeffrey Casale, 27, multiple times after he pointed a gun at them during an altercation late Tuesday night.

John Martin was visibly disturbed when ABC Action News spoke with him Wednesday morning. He was shaken by the sudden loss of Casale, his roommate.

"He was mad at something and was just venting it at anything that got in his way," said Martin.

Martin told ABC Action news the problems started Tuesday night when Casale started to become agitated for some reason. He said Casale grabbed his gun and began walking around the parking lot at the Windwood Oaks apartments, screaming and waving the weapon around.

"I called his father, his father said he had called 911, and as I turned around, all the police were coming in," said Martin.

When Hillsborough county deputies arrived, they tried to get him to put the weapon down. Instead, investigators told ABC Action News he approached them aggressively and pointed the gun. That's when they fired.

"They were in fear of their safety and the safety of others. In fact they were concerned that he may go into another apartment and take hostages, but his direct of threats was at our personnel," said Greg Brown with the Hillsborough County sheriff's office.

Casale was shot multiple times, taken to a local hospital where he died. Martin told ABC Action News that Casale was a military veteran, serving overseas in the Marines. According to Martin, he had no history of mental illness and said all of this is simply a shock.

"What could they do? What would you do if someone came running at you with a gun?" Martin asked ABC Action News.

Martin also said that Casale had a pretty serious foot injury from his time in the military.

The gun turned out to be a .177 caliber CO2 air-powered pistol. (You can see a photo of the gun in the media player at the top of the page.)

The four deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of this investigation.