Two brothers killed in Thonotosassa shooting
THONOTOSASSA (FOX 13) - A Hillsborough County community tried to come to terms Wednesday with the deaths of two brothers a day earlier -- one gunning down the other, before dying at the hands of deputies.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office, however, said she's not sure family and friends of Scott and Todd Tomlinson will ever have all the answers they're hoping to get.
"We may never know what caused the incident that occurred," said Debbie Carter, with the Sheriff's Office. "We just knew that it was a domestic, is what we had been told, and we don't know what they had been arguing about."
Unfortunately there are no witnesses because the only two people home at the time were the brothers.
The initial 911 call came in from a family member who reported a domestic disturbance at Scott Tomlinson's home on Smoken Gun Lane in Thonotosassa.
"[Deputies] were confronted by Todd Tomlinson. He was walking out towards them. He was armed with a handgun," Carter said.
Investigators said the brother raised the gun toward deputies, who opened fire, killing him.
When detectives went into the home, they found Scott Tomlinson dead in the kitchen with multiple gunshot wounds.
"I was on my way home when it all happened and I had a call from some guys that are working on my house that I needed to get home early," explained Stephen Kocsis, who lives next door and is a good friend of the brothers. "Just two great families are going to be hurting for a long time."
The Tomlinsons’ built their business, called Tomlinson Brothers Construction, from the ground up. According to the company's website, they started out with just a pickup truck in 1983 and expanded during the next two decades. Eventually they bought a second company, Stone and Foam Creations.
Kocsis said the brothers would argue every now and then, but he never would have expected it to come to this.
"All family businesses have tough times, so was it out of the ordinary? No. But it could have been escalating yesterday for some reason," he added. "They're from the Plant City, Thonotosassa area their whole lives and they built a company together, so it's going to be tough."
Carter said the families have asked for privacy.
The deputies involved were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.