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Florida Teen Guns Down Parents After Law Enforcement Took Away His Guns for Being ‘Mentally Unfit’

A 19-year-old Florida man, whose guns had been taken from him because he was deemed “mentally unfit,” somehow managed to get another gun Saturday night and use it to murder his mother and father.

Christos Alexander Themelis also wounded a Hillsborough County deputy during an exchange of gunfire — and was shot himself — before crawling back inside the house, where he was later found dead.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said that Themelis had “succumbed to his injuries” received in the gunfight with deputies.

Chronister said Themelis lived at the home with his parents, 48-year-old Rebecca Ann Themelis and 51-year-old Christos Byron Themelis, and that deputies had responded to the home on 10 previous occasions, most for mental health issues and violence against the parents. The most recent, he said, was in March. A risk protection order had been issued, and deputies had taken the teen’s guns.

Chronister said part of the investigation would be to determine where a breakdown occurred that put guns back into his hands.

The sheriff said deputies were called just after 11 p.m. Saturday night by the mother who told them that her son had just shot his father. Dispatchers could hear gunshots in the background. Deputies arrived at the home within three minutes and encountered the mother outside.

“As they start to dialogue with the mother,  … they see our suspect. Our bad guy walks up behind the mom and shoots his own mother in the back of the head,” he said.

Deputies and Themelis exchange gunfire, and both the suspect and Deputy Shane McGough are hit. Themelis crawls back inside the house while deputies quickly attend to the downed deputy, getting him away from the crime scene and to a hospital. Chronister said McGough was hit in the leg below the knee and was later listed in stable condition.

A SWAT team responds to the house, and deputies first sent a robot inside. The robot encountered the body of Christopher Byron Themelis and was not able to get further inside, so the SWAT team made entry and found Christopher Alexander Themelis dead.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the use of deadly force, as is standard procedure.

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