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Sarasota deputies fatally shoot man who pulled a gun

47-year-old man reportedly pulled weapon from behind his back and chambered a bullet.


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A 47-year-old man who pulled a gun from behind his back during an encounter with Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputies inside a home on Tarawa Drive was shot to death this morning, according to the department.

None of the four deputies who entered the home were hurt, the department said, adding each of them are now considered victims of an aggravated assault and would not be identified under the provisions of Florida’s Marsy’s Law.

Suspect Brian Underwood had a previous arrest on charges of domestic violence in 2014 in Citrus County, and a Sheriff’s Department release indicated deputies had been to the home previously but made no arrests.

According to the news release, the incident unfolded around 9:06 a.m. when a woman called 9-1-1 to say she awoke to find a man pointing a gun at her after arguing with him the night before. Deputies arrived within five minutes and asked the armed suspect to come out, but he did not comply.

A 9-1-1 log published on the Sheriff’s Office app indicates a family disturbance was reported at 9:06 a.m. in the 6000 block of Tarawa Drive, a residential street south of Bee Ridge Road, east of Interstate 75.  

Deputies contacted the armed man inside by phone and persuaded him to show his hands at a window, which he did, at which point the deputies were invited by the suspect to enter and rescue the victim, who was barricaded in a bedroom while still on the line with 9-1-1 call takers.

As four deputies entered, they encountered Underwood with his hands up. As deputies spoke to him in an effort to de-escalate tensions, the sheriff’s office reported, Underwood produced a gun from behind his back, chambered a bullet and pointed the firearm at the deputies. At least two deputies fired, fatally hitting Underwood.

"As the firearm came into the up position toward the deputies, who were near the doorway of the living room, two of the deputies fired their weapons, discharged at the suspect,'' Sheriff Kurt Hoffman said during a news conference on Sunday. "

An investigation into the incident is continuing.

This is the second shooting incident involving a Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputy in August.

On Aug. 18, a man on Richardson Way was shot and killed when he swung a machete at deputies investigation a report of an armed burglary. One of the deputies in that incident received serious hand injuries.

In May, deputies shot and killed a man who approached with a knife during an eviction at a Palm Avenue condominium. That incident was ruled to be justified.