Tampa, Florida - The Tampa Police Department is mourning the loss of one of their family. Authorities say a 911 dispatcher was killed Thursday in a murder-suicide.
Officials with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office say Deanna Mendoza was shot and killed by her estranged husband, Pedro Mendoza, when she drove to his house along the 8000 block of Galewood Circle. Detectives said Pedro then turned the gun on himself.
Photo Gallery: Apparent murder-suicide in Town 'N Country
We're told the couple was separated.
Deanna worked as a dispatcher with Tampa Police for a bit more than three years. Communication authorities said Deanna had a bubbly personality and was good at her job- able to calmly handle chaotic emergency situations.
Deanna's dispatch communications manager said her co-workers are still in shock.
"It's very somber; very emotional. She's worked all three shifts. Everybody knows her. She got along well with everybody," said Tom Wolff.
A member of Pedro's family also spoke to 10 News.
His nephew, Steven Valdez, said he sends his apologies to Deanna's family for what deputies said happened. However, he added that his uncle was not a cold-blooded killer. Valdez called it a case of love gone wrong and said Pedro was trying to move on from Deanna, but she was not making it easy for him. Valdez believes the whole situation made his uncle too miserable.
"I just wish I could go to sleep and wake up and this all be a dream," he said. "In nobody's mind would we think he would do something like this."
Pedro did have a criminal history, including arrests and prison time.
He leaves behind four children. Deanna leaves behind three. We're told they did not have any children together.
Follow 10 News Reporter Althea Paul on twitter @AltheaPaul1
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