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Release Number: 09-093

For Immediate Release

Public Information Office

March 27, 2009

Debbie Carter:

(813) 247-8060












Gilbert Velez,  DOB 4-17-52

1811 South Oak Street


Airlifted to Tampa General Hospital (Critical condition)


Deputy Ricco Palermo,  36

District Two – Patrol

10 year veteran


Deputy involved shooting


March 26, 2009 at approximately 6:40 p.m.


579 approximately ¼ mile north of 574


























At approximately 6:40 p.m. deputies were dispatched to the area of 579 approximately ¼ mile north of 574.  The caller stated that an individual was seen walking in the area and was carrying what appeared to be an assault rifle.


Deputy Ricco Palermo responded to the call and was confronted by the subject which was armed with what appeared to be an assault type rifle.  The subject pointed the rifle at Deputy Palermo and Palermo fired, striking the subject in the abdomen.


Velez was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital where his is listed in critical condition.  Deputy Palermo was not injured.


Deputy Palermo will be on administrative leave with pay pending review.


Below is a photo of the rifle that was in fact an “Air Soft Pellet Gun”.