Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Deputy and wife murder suicide in Land O'Lakes

Deputy's wife texted 'Kirk has lost his mind' before murder-suicide, friend says
Tampa Bay Times
Howard Altman
September 24, 2018

LAND O’LAKES — Samantha Keithley sent a series of disturbing text messages late Sunday, complaining about her husband to a longtime friend.
A Hillsborough County deputy fatally shot his wife before turning the gun on himself in the 17000 block of Terrazzo Way in Land O'Lakes on Sept. 24, 2018. [TONY MARRERO | Times]

“Kirk has lost his mind Kristin,” she wrote in one text to friend Kristin Kellin. “He’s literally losing it. He’s been harassing me for the last 6 hours and I’ve asked him repeatedly to just leave me alone because I’m sick.”

The wife also wrote that she had tossed her ring outside, a reference to a wedding ring.

That was 11:50 p.m. The texts were not seen for hours. Sometime near midnight, authorities say, Samantha Keithley, 33, was fatally shot by her husband, Kirk Keithley, a 39-year-old Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy. He then turned the gun on himself and died by suicide.

“She was an amazing mother and an amazing friend and amazing wife,” Kellin said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. “This is horrible.”

Pasco County deputies were called to the home at 17364 Terrazzo Way when a 14-year-old boy ran from the house and alerted 911 after hearing an argument and a gunshot, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said at an early morning news conference.

Once deputies arrived, they found the body of a woman, Nocco said. They went upstairs and found three other children safe.Then deputies found the husband in another room, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a preliminary investigation.

“Sam was part of our Hard Rock family for over 10 years,” he said. “She was truly loved by all who knew her. Our focus now is to support each other as we mourn this devastating loss. We are broken-hearted.”

Kirk Keithley was hired by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in 2009 and worked as a patrol deputy in the northeast area of the county. He had prior experience at the St. Petersburg Police Department.
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