Pasco Sheriff: Port Richey shooter shot man over imaginary girlfriend

By Josh Rojas, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, October 12, 2017, 10:48 PM EDT

Authorities said a shooting suspect is dead following a Thursday afternoon incident that forced a road shutdown and school lockdown.

  • Deputies closed part of State Road 52 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Gulf Highlands Elementary was placed on lockdown
  • Suspected shooter Brian Disario, 30, found dead inside home

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said the incident started about 3:30 p.m. when deputies closed part of State Road 52 near Meadow Drive in Hudson due to reports of an active shooter in the Gulf Highlands subdivision.

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said before the suspect, 30-year-old Brian Disario, barricaded himself inside his home, he believed his mother's friend, David Armstrong, 56, was trying to hit on his imaginary girlfriend.

"Please note Brian does not have a girlfriend. In his mind he did but in reality he didn't," Nocco said. "At one point Brian comes out and says to the victim, 'you're messing with my girlfriend.' The suspect then pulls out a long gun and shoots the victim."

Nocco said Disario went back into the house, then a short time later came out and shot Armstrong again, this time killing him. Disario then went out into the street, walking in the direction of Gulf Highlands Elementary School.

When deputies arrived on the scene and identified themselves, Disario fired at them, according to Nocco.

"As they're saying 'sheriff's office' he raises the gun at the deputies and starts firing rounds at the deputies in the middle of the street in a close proximity to the school." Nocco said. "Our deputies returned fire. There is a gun battle out in that street."

Disario then returned to the house and barricaded himself inside, pursued by the county's SWAT team. Just after 5 p.m., Disario was found deceased inside the home.

It's not yet known if Disario died from being struck by a deputy's bullet or from a self-inflicted wound.

Neighbor Lori Petit said Disario moved into the home earlier this year. In that time, she'd witnessed domestic incidents with the family.

"[Disario] would be arguing all the time with people," Petit said. "There were constant fights, bickering back and forth, cursing, just loud. I mean, top of their lungs."

Nocco reported that Disario also collected guns, and had in his possession a large amount of ammunition.

Gulf Highlands Elementary School, just two blocks east of the incident scene, was placed on lockdown, but authorities stressed that students were safe and that the shooting was in a nearby neighborhood.

The situation forced changes in school departure at the elementary school. The Sheriff's Office said, "Car rider student reunification point is at Longbranch Dr. and Harvest Moon Circle. We want parents to turn off 52 at Lamadera and go west on Long Branch until they reach their re-unification point. School staff and law enforcement will be requiring identification of parents and guardians to release students. Car riders are released first and bus riders after."