The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is investigating the fatal shooting of a woman at a home in Zephyrhills, attempting to determine whether it was, in fact, a case of self-defense. 

  • Woman shot and killed in Zephyrhills
  • Man who shot her says it was self defense
  • Shooting under investigation

A man who lives at the home said the shooting was in self defense. 

According to authorities, deputies responded to a home on Otis Allen Road near Forbes Road early Thursday. 

Officials said the home's resident, Jessie Ellison, 36, told deputies 37-year-old Brandy Contreras was with a group of people that came to his home threatening him with a gun. 

He said the situation escalated and eventually he used his own gun in self-defense and shot the woman. Contreras died a short time later. 

An investigation is ongoing. 

The Pasco Sheriff's Office on Thursday evening released the names of the three people who arrived at the home with Contreras. Deputies are looking to speak with Timothy Dawson, 33, Nathan Thomas Patz, 32, and Dana Jeanette Borders, 32, as they are considered witnesses in the case.

None of the three witnesses have any known addresses.

L to R: Timothy Dawson, Nathan Thomas Patz, and Dana Jeanette Borders. (Photos: Pasco County Sheriff's Office)

Stepfather disputes self-defense claim

Lewis Moores, Contreras's stepfather, told us he doesn't believe the shooting was in self-defense.

According to Moores, his stepdaughter and the man who reportedly shot her knew each other through an acquaintance. 

Sheriff’s records show that Contreras had a lengthy criminal history, something Moores acknowledged. He said she struggled with addiction, and he bonded her out of jail for a parole violation just last month.

“She had demons,” he said. “I’m an addict. I’ve been clean for ten years, but there’s demons. Drugs do the best of people and hurt good people. She was a good person.”

Neighbors of the man, meanwhile, describe him as being "friendly" and "helpful."

“Good kid, very good mechanic,” said Mary Winkler, whose boyfriend lives next door to the home. “I would’ve never thought in a million years this would’ve happened.”

“Very pleasant guy,” said Winkler’s boyfriend, Coy Barton. “During the storm, I had some problems and he fixed the breakers that needed fixing. Just a very good guy.”

No arrests have been made.

Moores said Contreras leaves behind four teenage children.