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Sheriff: 2 Hillsborough County deputies dead after apparent murder-suicide

Posted at 4:52 PM, Jan 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 05:10:41-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla — The Hillsborough County Sheriff said two county deputies were found dead Saturday night.

An investigation is underway after the deputy's bodies were found in a vacation rental home located on the 5300 block of A1A South in St. Augustine, FL.

The investigation isn't complete, but the sheriff said the deputies involved were in a romantic relationship and were heard arguing in a bedroom by fellow deputies just prior to the sound of gunshots.

Both deputies were discovered with fatal gunshot wounds.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the gunshot wound to Detective Daniel Leyden was self-inflicted and that he was the only shooter. Detective Leyden worked within the Criminal Investigations Division. The victim is also a deputy, assigned to Uniform Patrol District III.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is heading the investigation. The HCSO Peer Support Team, a group of employees who volunteer to provide confidential assistance to other employees and their families in times of trauma, is in touch with the immediate colleagues of both deputies involved and available as a resource to all HCSO personnel.

"Our Sheriff's Office family is still reeling from the shock of this unthinkable tragedy. My prayers for strength and comfort are with the families and loved ones of these deputies, and every member of Team HCSO affected by this painful loss," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Violence is never a solution, and I urge any employee who is dealing with a crisis to take advantage of the many resources our agency has created over the past several years which include Peer Support, Chaplains, and a clinical psychologist. Help is just a phone call away."