Dunedin man arrested after threatening to shoot wife, killing family dog on 4th of July

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Dunedin man was arrested after deputies say he threatened to shoot his wife and killed the family dog on the 4th of July during a domestic dispute.

Pinellas County deputies say that David Wheeler, 71, made threats to kill his wife and pointed a .45 caliber handgun at her. Wheeler's adult son tried to intervene when Wheeler threatened him with the handgun and threatened to shoot himself.

Someone heard arguing and gunshots coming from the residence and called 911. When deputies arrived just before 6 p.m., they could hear Wheeler yelling inside the home. Deputies set a perimeter around the home and made contact with victims, who both exited the home at the request of deputies.

They learned that Wheeler shot and killed the family dog of 15 years and was still inside the home armed with a handgun.

Deputies were trying to establish communication with Wheeler when he was allegedly spotted pointing a handgun through the front window of the residence at a deputy who was on the perimeter.

Deputies spent over an hour trying to convince Wheeler to exit the residence peacefully with no success.

At approximately 3:35 a.m. on Thursday, Wheeler voluntarily exited his residence and he was taken into custody without incident.

Wheeler was transported to the Pinellas County Jail and charged with two counts of aggravated assault (domestic), one count of animal cruelty, and one count of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. PCSO says that Wheeler will also receive a mental health evaluation as a result of a baker act.

Deputies seized numerous handguns, rifles and shotguns from Wheeler's home. The investigation is ongoing.

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