PLANT CITY, FL. (THECOUNT) – A veteran Hillsborough County deputy killed three family members, including a child at a residence, then sent a chilling final radio message to his colleagues before ultimately killing himself outside Plant City High School, Sheriff Chad Chronister announced this morning.

The sheriff says that the victims include a woman and child at one location and a woman at a second location. Detectives remained at both locations Wednesday.


With “an extremely heavy heart,” the sheriff recounted the sequence of events that ultimately ended with the suicide outside Plant City High School.

The deputy’s final radio transmissions alluded to health and financial issues, according to officials.

According to Chronister, it was just after 6:30 a.m. when a deputy — as yet unnamed — spoke up on the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office main radio channel to say that he had “caused harm to his family,” provided details about two crime scene locations, and then said he planned to commit suicide at the school. source

As the communications supervisor tried to talk him out of it, three other deputies caught up to him outside the school. They, too, tried to intervene, but failed.

“Unfortunately the deputy took his own life on scene in front of the three deputies,” the sheriff said.

The scene of the suicide was just off school property, but a heavy law enforcement presence at the high school campus worried many parents. Chronister said he believes the deputy wound up at that location because it happened to be close to the other crime scenes.

Deputies are still working to notify the victims’ relatives, so no names have been released.

Plant City is an incorporated city in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States, approximately midway between Brandon and Lakeland along Interstate 4. The population was 34,721 at the 2010 census. Many people believe it was named for the flora grown at plant nurseries in its tropical Gulf Coast climate, source Wikipedia.