HCSO: Armed man shot by deputy in Temple Terrace

Image 1 of 2

A sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man who chased him with a knife, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

The man's sister made the initial call for help after her brother reportedly took a bottle of pills. The responding deputy said he was faced by a man wielding a "chef's kitchen knife" whose behavior continued to escalate.

It happened around 6 p.m. on Misty River Court in Temple Terrace, a suburb of Tampa, Florida.

The sheriff said the sister of Lenny Blane Griffith called to report her brother was suicidal and had a long history of mental illness.

The sheriff said a deputy responded to a home believed to belong to Griffith's girlfriend.

Griffith was in a bedroom near the back of the home. The sheriff said the deputy pleaded with Griffith to put down the knife, but Griffith charged him, chasing the deputy through the hallway, into the driveway, and eventually into a neighbor's yard, where the deputy deployed his weapon.

The sheriff said there was a history of calls to the address, but Griffith had never before been Baker-Acted. Griffith's 48th birthday was also the day of his death.

"Everyone struggles. There are some of you may be struggling right now. If you're struggling, call 211. There is help available," Sheriff Chad Chronister said.

The deputy who shot Griffith was identified at 28-year-old Nguyen Tran, who has served the sheriff's office since 2016. Chronister said Tran did not have any previous disciplinary issues.