Florida police said a man who allegedly gunned down his mom’s friend and who also then opened fire on two deputies was reportedly upset after he believed his mom’s friend tried to hit on his girlfriend, who police say does not exist.
Brian Desario, 30-year-old, was killed by local police officers who responded on Thursday afternoon following an armed conflict in the middle of the street in a Port Richey neighborhood.
Reports say that before deputies arrived on the scene, Desario had fatally shot his mother’s male friend, Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a press conference.
According to Nocco, Desario walked into the garage of a Port Richey home where his mother, her boyfriend and the victim who was identified as 56-year-old David Armstrong were located and wrongly accused Armstrong of flirting with his girlfriend.
He then shot Armstrong, went inside the home and came back out to shoot Armstrong again. Analysis said Armstrong was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to family members, Desario suffered from mental illness and did not have a girlfriend.
“The suspect believed that the mom’s friend; who is the victim in this case, was trying to pick up Brian’s girlfriend and hit on Brian’s girlfriend,” Nocco said. “Please note, Brian does not have a girlfriend. In his mind he did. But, in reality he didn’t.”
Police said the mother and boyfriend left the scene after the shooting and called police. Desario walked out into the middle of the street and pointed a rifle towards Gulf Highlands Elementary School, which was about a block and a half away from the home.
Authorities said Desario started walking towards the building, and the school was immediately placed on lockdown.
“Everyone in this organization made sure those kids came home alive,” Nocco said. “They are the heroes.”
When officers arrived, Desario opened fire and a shootout started.
“For one thing it we the first time my life flashed in front of my face. I noticed two deputies in the street and they had their assault weapons out and I thought they were just walking down the street, so, I went to go around them. And that’s when they started to shoot at the house that was on the corner there and I just locked my brakes up and backed up and they told me to stay there…pretty scary.” George Kennedy said, a grandfather who was on his way to pick up his grandfather when he drove right into the middle of the beginning of the gun battle.
Police said Desario had a stockpile of guns and ammo and they are investigating to determine where he got the weapons.
“It was reported by witnesses that shooting suspect Disario had shot and killed the victim at the home in the garage and was also shooting a gun in the street outside a school, which lead to a standoff with two of our deputies when they arrived on scene,” the sheriff’s office said.