PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- A suspect who police say has a history of mental health issues reportedly killed his mother's fiancé and shot a deputy Wednesday morning during a standoff after units responded to a domestic disturbance call. And it all started with a fight over doughnuts.
One deputy was shot in the leg after the suspect, identified as Jeffrey Falsey, fired at least 30 rounds from inside the trailer he shares with his mother, Susan Di Fabbio, 63, in the 5100 block of 80th Way North in unincorporated Pinellas County.
The gunfire struck neighboring homes and vehicles and had deputies pinned down. PCSO deputy, Michael Ficocelli, 30, was shot when he tried to retrieve his rifle. He is reportedly in good condition at Bayfront Medical Center.
Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri addressed the media Wednesday afternoon to give the details on what led up to the shooting and standoff with deputies.
Neighbors, meanwhile, say it was chaos.
“It was like, pop, pop, pop. And I saw the first black car come racing up with his lights on,” said neighbor Gayle Gerbes.
A swarm of tactical officers descended on the area.
“They said they could hear a woman screaming inside the house,” said Denise Joyal.
A concussion grenade distracted Falsey just long enough for the SWAT team to move in. His mother, Di Fabbio, had gotten out alive. But inside the house, deputies found her fiancé dead.
Falsey, they say, had used a shotgun to kill Daniel Kulwicki, “who he had issues with,” said Gualtieri, “because he was a sex offender.”
Inside the house, deputies say Falsey also had a .45 caliber handgun, a Tech Nine and a .223 rifle. Falsey had obtained the weapons, they say, from his father, who also lives in St. Petersburg.
The sheriff says deputies were called out to the same house on a domestic violence call in January. At the time, Falsey was charged with domestic battery on Kulwicki, but his weapons were not confiscated.
“We have somebody that has significant mental health issues, a history of domestic violence, a history of not getting along with his mother. He's been charged with domestic battery, he's out on bond. He's acquired a significant number of firearms, and he went off today over donuts. Something as silly and as stupid as donuts,” said Gualtieri.
Deputies arrived at the trailer around 9:30 a.m. Di Fabbio left the home and was not harmed, but Falsey remained inside with Kulwicki.
Gualtieri said deputies were aware of Falsey possessing several weapons, including a 12-gauge shotgun, a TEC-9 handgun, a .45-caliber handgun and a 223 rifle. The guns were provided by Falsey's father, the Sheriff said.
Those weapons were not seized during January's arrest because deputies did not have probable cause to take them.
Deputies then approached the front door and established verbal communication with Falsey, who invited them inside. The deputies did not enter the residence, where Falsey was allegedly waiting to ambush them, Gualtieri said.
Falsey then started firing multiple times outside of the residence, with one round striking Ficocelli. Gualtieri said that Falsey was using a home surveillance system to watch the deputies' movements.
The SWAT team was called to the scene and a large perimeter was set up to protect the public from the gunfire.
The gunfire ended and SWAT negotiators were able to convince Falsey to surrender peacefully. Gualtieri said that no deputies returned fire during this time.
10News reporter Eric Glasser was at the scene where he obtained exclusive photos of Falsey surrendering to deputies. Falsey was not injured.
When deputies entered the trailer, they discovered Kulwicki dead from a shotgun round to the forehead.
Gualtieri said that the Falsey's mental health issues and history of domestic violence was an "ongoing unfortunately common situation."
The investigation into the shooting and homicide are ongoing.
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