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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Takes His Own Life After Barricade Situation

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL. – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is sad to announce the suicide of one of their own.

On Wednesday, just after 7 p.m., Hillsborough County’s 911 center received a call from a family member of Deputy Christopher Former, 49.

The caller said that Former made suicidal threats to a family member over the phone.

Deputies responded to Former’s home in the Mira Lago neighborhood in Ruskin and made contact with Former who briefly interacted with deputies and then barricaded himself inside his home.

Deputies and Negotiators worked to bring Former out of his home peacefully.

SWAT entered the home just after 11 p.m., and Former was discovered deceased inside, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Deputy Former had worked with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for 23 years, most recently serving as a Community Resource Deputy in the Ruskin area.

“My deepest condolences go out to Deputy Former’s family and those that knew and loved him,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “While this is a very difficult time for our Sheriff’s Office family, it is times like this where we rely on each other and the community for support. Together we will grieve and try to make sense of what happened.”

Sheriff Chronister would like to remind all employees at HCSO that resources are available, including Peer Support, a professional mental health clinician, and other resources through HCSO’s insurance provider.

Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis is urged to reach out for help. You can contact the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay at 211 or call 911.

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