SARASOTA, Fla. - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal deputy-involved shooting after deputies say an armed man, accused of threatening his girlfriend with a firearm, aimed a semi-automatic weapon at them as they tried to deescalate the situation.
According to Sheriff Kurt Hoffman, the agency received a 911 call shortly after 9 a.m. from a woman who said she woke up to her boyfriend pointing a gun in her face.
Deputies arriving at the scene say they made contact with the suspect, 47-year-old Brian Underwood, and asked him to come out of the house. Initially, he did not comply with the deputies' orders.
Eventually, deputies say they reached Underwood on a telephone and convinced him to go to a window where they could see him.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating an officer-involved shooting., Photo courtesy: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Hoffman says Underwood stood in the window with his hands in the air and invited the deputies into the house while the victim was barricaded in the back bedroom at the time.
According to SCSO, four deputies entered the house and told Underwood to keep his hands in the air and tried to de-escalate the situation.
At this time, Sheriff Hoffman says the suspect reached behind his back and pulled out a semi-automatic firearm and had it at the low-ready position and chambered a round by racking the slide on the firearm.
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 at the suspect and killed him, according to Sheriff Hoffman.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating a deadly deputy-involved shooting.
Sheriff Hoffman says deputies have been called to the home on Tarawa Drive several times in the past, but none of those situations led to an arrest.
According to SCSO, Underwood has one prior arrest for domestic battery in 2014 out of Citrus County.
Sheriff Hoffman says Underwood’s mother was at the home during the incident. He said she got out of the residence during the disturbance and left the door ajar so deputies could get inside.
This is the second deadly domestic-related incident the deputies have been involved in the past ten days that led to a deputy deploying a firearm. Sheriff Hoffman says there was a third incident on Friday in Venice, in which deputies used non-lethal force to subdue a man accused of stabbing his girlfriend and pet to death, after they say he threatened them with a knife. The man, who was bleeding before deputies arrived, ended up dying shortly afterward.
"This is still a very dangerous profession and we handle these calls as professionally as we can and it’s unfortunate that this, and the call from a few days ago ended with the suspect losing their life, but that’s the choice that they made and the deputies responded with what appears to be appropriate," Sheriff Hoffman stated.
The four involved deputies and the woman who called 911 are considered victims of aggravated assault and their identities will not be released.