Pasco County hazmat situation turns violent; leads to possible terrorism investigation

Posted at 4:21 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-22 17:21:24-05

Sheriff Nocco with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office says no ties to terrorism have been discovered involving an incident in New Port Richey on Wednesday night. However, investigators continue to work to get more information on the suspect and his past. 

“There is nothing that we found at this point that would make us believe that he’s associated with a cell or anything of that nature. But let me also make this very clear. This is a extremely dangerous individual,” said Sheriff Nocco.

The Sheriff said Elganainy had experimented with chemical devices in the past and they found evidence he was researching the topic.

Where did the terrorist talk come from?

Elganainy’s mother told investigators her son tells them he is a member of ISIS when he’s angry.

The incident started on Wednesday morning as a hazmat situation and it turned violent when the suspect attacked deputies.

During a press conference on Thursday, body camera footage was released. Watch the press conference below. WARNING: There is some explicit language in the video.




On Wednesday morning, Pasco Fire-Rescue was called to the residence at 11906 Carissa Lane at 6:20 a.m. due to an unresponsive elderly man.

Emergency medical technicians took the man to a local hospital. His wife contacted authorities about the fumes that may have led to the elderly man's collapse.

When deputies arrived to talk to the wife, they noticed suspicious materials in the bedroom of their 21-year-old son, Sherif Elganainy.

When the deputies went to take the son into custody, he attacked the deputies and a violent fight broke out. One of the deputies suffered a broken bone in his hand and the other deputy received a blow to the head before the suspect was taken down.

Watch the body camera footage below. 




The concern then turned to the materials in the suspect's room.

"There are materials in there that give us concern," Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said. "His actions, statements that he's made, previous things that have occurred in this house that have now been reported today to us, give us a lot of concern."

The Joint Terrorism Task Force and Hillsborough County Bomb Squad were also brought in on the case.

Sheriff Nocco says federal authorities and the bomb squad eventually entered the home and removed the materials for further analysis. 

Elganainy has charges pending that include two domestic batteries (for pushing his parents earlier in the morning); resisting arrest with violence; battery on a law enforcement officer; and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.