Deputies early Tuesday shot and killed a man they say stabbed a neighbor's cat, tried to break an apartment window and charged them with a butcher's knife, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said.
The incident happened just before 6 a.m. in the 2100 block of Bloomingdale Villas Court in Brandon. The man was later identified as 41-year-old Lew G. Tyree II. No one else was injured.
Several 911 callers around 5:30 a.m. reported that a man was walking through the neighborhood with a butcher's knife "acting crazy," the sheriff's office said. Some callers said the man had stabbed a cat and that he was threatening people with a 20-pound barbell.
Gee said that when deputies arrived, they found Tyree carrying the knife and weight. Gee said the deputies made several attempts to subdue the man, including the deployment of a Taser, before three of them fired multiple shots at him.
Deputies Steve Gutierrez, 35, Marina Stroud, 34, and James Maiello, 25, have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.
"We're not sure why the suspect was trying to break into the apartment," Gee said. "He was known as a person that caused some problems in the neighborhood."
Authorities said it was not clear if Tyree knew the resident of the home where he was trying to break a window.
"We don't know if he had mental issues but he did become aggressive," Gee said. "One of the deputies here was one of our specially trained crisis intervention deputies. Those are the people we rely on to de-escalate.
"I'm confident that everything was done to keep the situation from escalating but I think that was probably impossible this morning."
Neighbors who live in the area said they are confused by the morning's events. They said that what happened this morning is unusual and out of character for the father of two.
George Smith described what happened outside of his home.
"I woke up and went to the bathroom and heard my mom in, like, a panic beating on my room door," he said. "She was like,'Overall's standing in front of the door with a knife.'"
Chakina Holland said she considered Lew a friend and that she had talked to him the night before.
"He was someone I considered a friend," she said. "Of course everyone goes through their own things but it’s difficult to hear someone was shot down like that. You never want that for someone.”
The shooting remains under investigation.