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Suspect killed by deputies after hostage situation in Pinellas County

Clearwater shooting Indigo Drive.png
Posted at 9:53 AM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 17:14:57-04

CLEARWATER, Fla.  — Officials in unincorporated Clearwater say one person is dead after a deputy-involved shooting on Tuesday morning in the Greenbriar neighborhood.

Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter says authorities were called to a house located at 2175 Indigo Drive just after 3:30 a.m. when a woman called to say her ex-boyfriend Josue Arias was at the door with a handgun.

Two people in the house ran into separate rooms at that time, while police say Arias had committed an armed burglary.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office was on scene trying to negotiate with Arias, but authorities say he was not cooperating with their commands.

The woman escaped while armed with her own gun, but at one point, Arias came to the door with a gun pointed at the head of his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend.

Authorities say he let the man go but then went back in the home.

Arias reportedly came out again while still armed and walked into the yard. Chief Slaughter said earlier Arias had seen the positioning of the deputies on site and appeared to be looking for them with the gun still in his hand.

At that point, deputies fired at and killed Arias. The entire encounter lasted over an hour.

The Chief described Arias as "looking for a fire fight."

Authorities say Arias had a history of burglary and domestic violence and they believe the gun may have been stolen.

Authorities say the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Task Force is investigating. The task force was launched last year to increase transparency. Anytime there is a law enforcement involved shooting, an outside agency now investigates.

The four deputies who shot at the suspect are on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice according to investigators.