PLANT CITY, Fla. — Surveillance video taken from the condo community near Plant City High School shows Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Terry Strawn calmly walking up to his daughter’s front door, seconds later he shot and killed her.
Out of respect for the family, the resident did not want to release the video or any screen grabs of it to the public. ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska watched the video which shows the deputy walking on the sidewalk toward his daughter Courtney Strawn’s unit. The video shows him holding a gun in his left hand, Strawn knocks on his daughter’s door and she opens it. Minutes later, the deputy stumbled back to his car, attempting to swiftly conceal the firearm in his pocket. The time stamp on the video was at 6:32 a.m. Wednesday.
The neighbor, who asked to not be identified, was thankful he didn't come face to face with Strawn on Wednesday morning.
“I am normally out walking my dog at that time,” he said.
At approximately 6:42 a.m., Terry Strawn, 58, got on the main channel of the HCSO radio and alerted other deputies that he killed his wife, Theresa Strawn, 54, his daughter, Courtney Strawn, 32, and his granddaughter, 6-year-old Londyn Strawn.
He gave them the locations of where all the victims could be found. During the radio transmission, he said that he was going to kill himself at Plant City High School. A supervisor got on air and tried to calm him down. During this time, three other Hillsborough County deputies located him off of school property. They made every attempt to convince the deputy not to kill himself, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a news conference on Wednesday. Strawn ultimately killed himself in front of the three deputies.
“[Londyn] was really fun I had sleep overs I went to the mall and stuff with her I went to her cheerleading gymnastics and stuff,“ Skyla Cooper said.
Cooper said Londyn just moved into the condo behind hers and they became close friends. Cooper, 11, showed us the class photo that Londyn gave her a few months ago.
“I prayed and I didn’t think about it at first,” Cooper said.
Cooper talked to us with her grandma Lois Williams. Williams said Londyn’s mom Courtney was like a daughter to her. She said she met Courtney’s dad multiple times and they even had a BBQ together.
“Very nice. Very sweet, gentle. Just shock,” Williams said. “We are here for the family cause she’s like my family.”
The deputy began working for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department in 1991 before retiring in 2017, Chronister said. The deputy was hired on full time in July to be the school resource deputy at his granddaughter Londyn’s elementary school.
The deputy previously received "glowing" recommendations and there was "no indication whatsoever" that he would commit a crime, HCSO said in a press conference on Wednesday.
Chronister confirmed Strawn was involved in a deputy involved shooting in 2004. A man believe to have a gun was shot and killed by Strawn and another deputy. The sheriff’s office said the shooting was investigated and found to be a justified use of force.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to speak with someone who will provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.