'Hero' neighbor saves domestic violence victim by shooting, killing suspect: Sheriff

The suspect shot at the neighbor who then retired fire Wednesday night.

August 22, 2019, 10:32 AM

A neighbor is being hailed a "hero" by a Florida sheriff for allegedly saving a victim of domestic violence.

The victim was inside a house Wednesday in Trinity, outside of Tampa, and "was screaming for help as they were being attacked," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a news conference. The house was later found to been disarray, with blood inside, the sheriff said.

The victim placed elementary school age children outside the second floor window to try to protect them, the sheriff said.

"That has to be a horrific scene for somebody -- a victim to be placing young children out of a second story window because they're in such fear for their lives inside the house," Nocco said.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco speaks to the press after a domestic violence incident in Pasco, County, Fla., where a neighbor helped free the victim's children from a dangerous scene, Aug. 21, 2019.

That's when a neighbor, who was mowing his grass, came over and grabbed the children and got them to safety, the sheriff said.

The suspect came outside and the neighbor tried to calm the suspect down, the sheriff said.

The neighbor went back to his property, the sheriff said, but then the suspect took out a gun and fired at the neighbor. The neighbor fired back, striking and killing the suspect, Nocco said.

Police at the scene in Pasco, County, Fla., where a neighbor is being hailed as a hero after deputies say he shot and killed an armed domestic violence suspect and helped free the victim's children from a dangerous scene, Aug. 21, 2019.

The victims are OK, the sheriff said.

Nocco called the neighbor "a hero" for "helping another victim who was a victim of domestic violence."

"He tried to defuse the situation," Nocco said of the neighbor, but when the suspect fired, he defended himself.

"Domestic violence is a horrible crime," the sheriff said. "Unfortunately it's only spoken about when it occurs. We see a large amount of deaths in our county and regionally due to domestic violence. So I hope in times when we're not here talking about it, people are trying to do something to stop it. Because unfortunately we see that's a nexus to a lot of crimes and a lot of deaths."

The names of the suspect, victims and neighbor have not been released.

ABC News' Will Gretsky contributed to this report.