HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal deputy-involved shooting near Gregory Drive in Tampa.
- Sheriff says incident started as "suicidal subject call"
- Jesus Calderon raised knife at deputy, who returned fire, sheriff says
- Deputy is 19-year-veteran of force
The incident started at about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday when a family member called authorities about a suicidal person.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said a deputy responded and that the person later raised a knife and lunged at the deputy, who responded with fire.
The 52-year-old man, identified as Jesus Calderon, later died at AdventHealth.
Chronister said it was the eighth time deputies had responded about Calderon.
"Each call resulted in the subject being Baker Acted. A majority of the calls involved the subject in some type of cutting object or knife, attempting to harm himself," Chronister said.
The deputy was Kevin Stabins, a 19-year-veteran of the force. Chronister said Stabins was "visibly emotional" and "upset" after what happened. It was the first time he had used gunfire, according to the sheriff.
He is on administrative leave, which is standard operating shooting in a deputy-involved shooting.
Calderon had an arrest history that included three DUI charges in the 1990s and possession of cocaine in 2004.
Need for Mental Health treatment options
Chronister said the incident highlights the need for even more mental health treatment options in Bay area communities.
"A lot of times we have people ask us whats our biggest obstacle as a sheriff's office moving forward, and they always expect us to say some type of crime," Chronister said. "It's mental health. It's mental health, it's treatment, it's ensuring that our community gets the treatment and help that they need."
One organization striving to connect individuals in need with those resources is the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
"We connect them to resources like psychiatric help, mental health counseling, trauma counseling," said Crisis Center spokesperson Lisa Cruz Cepeda.
Cepeda went on to say in addition to treatment options, it's also crucial to remove any stigmas associated with mental illness before those stigmas put more people's lives at risk.
"It is so important that we make it comfortable for those dealing with these mental health issues and their friends and family members to feeling comfortable reaching out to resources like us, resources like 2-1-1 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, that they can get the help that they need," she explained.