2 HCSO deputies found shot to death in St. Augustine vacation rental home

Courtesy: Alan Alsobrook

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after two deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office were found dead Saturday night at a vacation rental home in St. Augustine, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

HCSO says the two deputies, who were involved in a romantic relationship, were heard arguing by fellow deputies on vacation with them just before the sound of gunshots rang out. 

Deputies say the preliminary investigation indicates that the gunshot wound to Detective Daniel Leyden appears to be self-inflicted and that he was the sole shooter. The victim, who is also a deputy, assigned to Uniform Patrol District III, was found dead from gunshot wounds.

"Our Sheriff's Office family is still reeling from the shock of this unthinkable tragedy. My prayers for strength and comfort are with the families and loved ones of these deputies, and every member of Team HCSO affected by this painful loss," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Violence is never a solution, and I urge any employee who is dealing with a crisis to take advantage of the many resources our agency has created over the past several years which include Peer Support, Chaplains, and a clinical psychologist. Help is just a phone call away."

Courtesy: Alan Alsobrook

The HCSO Peer Support Team, a group of employees who volunteer to provide confidential assistance to other employees and their families in times of trauma, is in touch with the immediate colleagues of both deputies involved and available as a resource to all HCSO personnel.