TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two Hillsborough County deputies were found dead in a vacation rental home in St. Augustine Saturday night, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said the two deputies were in a romantic relationship. Other fellow deputies on vacation with the couple said they heard arguing from a bedroom followed by gunshots.

The investigation found that Detective Daniel Leyden was the shooter, having killed his romantic partner before shooting himself. The motive is still under investigation.

“Our Sheriff’s Office family is still reeling from the shock of this unthinkable tragedy,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “My prayers for strength and comfort are with the families and loved ones of these deputies, and every member of Team HCSO affected by this painful loss. Violence is never a solution, and I urge any employee who is dealing with a crisis to take advantage of the many resources our agency has created over the past several years which include Peer Support, Chaplains, and a clinical psychologist. Help is just a phone call away.”

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is providing support for deputies in the aftermath.

This is a developing story. Check back with WFLA for updates.


If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support at 1-800-273-8255. Starting on July 16, 2022, U.S. residents can also be connected to the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.



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