Port Richey man’s gunfight with police started over imaginary girlfriend

(Courtesy Dustin Smith)

PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirms a shooting suspect in the Gulf Highlands subdivision of Port Richey is dead.

The sheriff’s office said the suspect was identified as Brian Disario, 30. Deputies say he was known to have guns and had a history of mental illness.

Deputies said Disario believed that his mother’s friend was trying to hit on his girlfriend. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Disario did not a have a girlfriend, but in his mind he did.

The suspect shot and killed the victim, David Armstrong, 56.

Others in the home and Disario fled into Gulf Highlands Drive.

A witness said they saw the suspect point a gun toward Gulf Highlands Elementary. The school was locked down and deputies responded and surrounded the school.

Deputies arrived and exchanged gunfire with Disario, engaging in a gun fight within a block of the school.

Disario eventually went into his home and deputies followed, where they found the victim.

Negotiations with the suspect continued. A robot went into the home and the Disario was found dead.

One mom in the area knew two things. The gunshots were too close and her children were too far.

“A police officer stated screaming, ‘get in your house! There’s an active shooter!'” Nickie Thewes said.

Her kids were in class just around the corner.

“We didn’t go near windows. We say by the wall, on different sides of the wall,” said her son, Wyatt. “They put trashcans and tables to block the windows.”

“God forbid if our deputies went down, that individual was going to go to that school,” said Sheriff Nocco.

Nervous parents are grateful for the heroes who protected countless children.

Follow Melanie Michael on Facebook


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