RIVERVIEW, Fla. — The Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff’s Office is investigating a homicide involving a roofer who was shot while working.
Several media outlets reported that the scene of the crime was a house being renovated in Riverview, Florida, around 1:45 p.m. The 44-year-old victim was part of a crew reroofing the structure. The shooter and victim have not been identified.
Major Frank Losat, of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, said during a press conference that investigators determined quickly that the shooting was unintentional by one of the victim's coworkers.
“The person who fired the shot was actually getting out of his truck, slipped on a piece of construction debris at this point, as he was transitioning the gun between his waistband (and) his pocket…at some point the gun is fired unintentionally,” Losat said. “The victim is struck and that’s when 911 is summoned.”
Losat said first responders tried to save the victim at the scene, first on the roof and again on the ground. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
During the press conference, Losat said there were some marks on the unidentified construction debris that substantiated the shooter’s claim that he had slipped. The shooting victim also was described as a “long-time friend of the family.”
Still, Losat said it has to be treated as a homicide “because somebody died.”
One neighbor said the home had been under construction for several months, and that she had been chatting with the shooter and victim about 30 minutes before the incident.
“The shooter is cooperating with detectives and given us a full statement at this point,” Losat said, adding that the shooter’s son was also on the roof at the time of the shooting.
He said the investigation would take several days and that it was too early to determine what, if any, charges may be filed against the shooter.