Family of man killed in Deltona deputy-involved shooting questions need for lethal force

by: Mike Springer Updated:

DELTONA, Fla. - The family of 58-year-old Daniel Donarski is asking the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office for more information on his death Thursday night, saying that they don’t think deadly force was necessary.

Deputy Shawn Adkins responded to Donarski’s Teather Avenue home in Deltona after his wife called 911 at about 7 p.m. and said her husband was off his regular medication and was having a breakdown, investigators said.

When deputies arrived, they said Donarski came out of the home, racked a round into a shotgun and pointed it at them, ignoring commands to drop it, the sheriff’s office said.

Adkins, 25, opened fire, killing Donarski, investigators said.

Donarski’s wife, Leticia Donarski, said she couldn’t imagine her husband pointing a gun at anyone.

“He was a great man, a loving man,” she said. “This was not his character at all."

Daniel Donarski's doctor had started weaning him off his medication for bipolar disorder.

While was watching the news, he became upset and started to punch the wall, his wife said.

"I couldn't take him to the hospital myself, so I needed help to get him help, and that didn't happen," Laticia Donarski said.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the deputy’s bodycam footage showed that Adkins’ response was appropriate and could have saved lives other than his own.

“Unfortunately (Daniel Donarski) is dead, but the deputies had to do what they had to do,” Chitwood said during a Thursday news conference. “Not only did they protect their lives tonight, but they protected the life of the wife.”


Watch Sheriff Mike Chitwood's news conference below:


Leticia Donarski said she didn’t see the interaction between her husband and deputies, but was adamant that Daniel Donarski would not hurt, or threaten to hurt, anyone.

While Chitwood said he has seen the bodycam footage and had no question that deputies acted appropriately, Leticia Donarski is demanding to see it herself.

The bodycam video has not been released by the sheriff’s office.