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Armed 88-year-old ex-police officer killed in deputy-involved shooting at Riverview home

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Posted at 9:13 AM, Dec 07, 2021

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — An armed, 88-year-old man, who was a 23 year veteran of the Tampa Police Department, died after being shot in a deputy-involved shooting at a Riverview home Tuesday morning.

During a press conference, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said their office received a call just before 7:30 a.m. from a woman concerned about the well-being of her elderly neighbor, 88-year-old Ronald Ehrich, after not seeing him for two days. The neighbor said she noticed that the garage door and door to the inside of his home were open.

Sheriff Chronister said after arriving at the home on Longcrest Drive and speaking to the concerned neighbor Deputy Anastacia Castillo put on some latex gloves believing she would be entering the home to provide medical aid.

Upon entering the home, Deputy Castillo announced that she was with the sheriff's office as she searched each room of the first floor looking for Ehrich. According to Sheriff Chronister, as she made her way to the second floor Deputy Castillo knocked on the walls of the stairway, continuously saying she was with the sheriff's office, and eventually came upon a locked bedroom door.

After nobody responded when she knocked on the bedroom door, Deputy Castillo continued searching the second floor. Sheriff Chronister said after not finding anyone in the other bedrooms, Deputy Casillo went back to knock on the locked bedroom door and that was when she heard a man say he was armed with a gun so she immediately attempted to deescalate the situation.

"Sheriff's Office, I'm here to help you." Sheriff's office, your neighbors are worried about you that's why I'm here. Sheriff's Office, we're here to help you."

Sheriff Chronister said that is when Ehrich opened the door and started moving towards Deputy Castillo with the gun. As Ehrich continued to move toward Deputy Castillo, she kept moving away from him until she was pinned to the wall in one of the bedrooms, "where she could go no further."

"Sir, drop that gun! Sir, drop that gun!"

"He advances towards her. She's left with no option being in fear for her life at that time and discharges her service weapon," Sheriff Chronister said.

Sheriff Chronister said Ehrich died from his injuries at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Deputy Castillo, who has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department since 2015, has no previous history of use of deadly force, according to Sheriff Chronister.

“There is no other way to describe this other than tragic,” said Sheriff Chronister. “This deputy went in to save a life, expecting to find someone experiencing a medical emergency. She made every attempt to deescalate the situation before being forced to fire her weapon for her own safety.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating in accordance with HCSO's policy.