VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A man who threatened his girlfriend fatally shot himself Monday night at their home on Ranch Road near Lake Helen, Volusia County Sheriff's deputies said.
Deputies were dispatched to the scene after they received a 911 call about the disturbance at the home. The girlfriend, who called 911, told dispatchers that Shawn Lee Norris, 40, had been drinking and had threatened her with a knife earlier in the evening, and that he had a shotgun that he had fired inside the home.
While on the phone with dispatchers, the woman said that she thought that Norris had left the home. Once deputies learned that Norris was out of the house and on foot, they called in K-9 units and a helicopter for additional assistance. The helicopter located Norris sitting in a wooded area at an abandoned paintball field north of the home.
Deputies said Norris then hid in a large barrel, but as deputies moved in closer, a gunshot rang out from the field. Fearing for his safety, a deputy said he returned fire in self-defense with a single shot that did not hit Norris.
After a brief exchange of gunfire, the SWAT team was called to the scene to help contain the situation and try to safely make contact with Norris.
Shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday, deputies said they managed to reach Norris and he was airlifted to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The man was pronounced dead at the hospital, deputies said.
An autopsy performed by the Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the defensive round fired by the deputy did not strike Norris. The only injury was self-inflicted from Norris’ shotgun.
His girlfriend sustained minor injuries during the confrontation.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the deputy's actions, which is standard procedure when an officer fires his weapon.