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Deputies shoot arson suspect in Pasco county | News

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Deputies shoot arson suspect in Pasco county

Hudson, Florida -- A man who set fire at two Pasco county car dealerships later died in a shootout with deputies at his New Port Richey home.

At Rock Bottom auto dealers in Hudson surveillance cameras around the shop showed Patrick Tillery setting fires to various cars.

Owner Mario Vavoulis says a month ago Patrick Tillery purchased a car here at his dealership, then last night started two fires at the dealerships locations on US 19 and State Road 52.

"I believe he threw a cinder block," says Vavoulis.

It's a fire that has caused more than $50,000 worth of damage.

"Clearly it was Patrick who came out here lit vehicles on fire and lit up my buildings," says Vavoulis.

Surveillance video of Tillery setting cars on fire

That's what led deputies to Tillery's home on Yucca Drive in New Port Richey.

"The suspect's wife says he's not at home even though he is and lets deputies in and brings deputies where Pat is," says Sheriff Chris Nocco, with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

With young children in the next room, Sheriff Nocco says Tillery ambushed the 3 deputies inside, firing 2 to 3 rounds.

"He caused it and we responded. We returned fire and he's dead," says Sheriff Nocco.

The sheriff says nobody else was injured, the children are with child protection services and his wife could face charges. Tillery was also no stranger to the law as he served time in state prison for escape and assault.

"When you hear how it was set up, is by grace of god they are alive," says Sheriff Nocco.

The chain of events began over a month ago because of an argument over a car Tillery purchased.

For Vavoulis, he's just trying to figure out how it went this far.

VIDEO: Sheriff Nocco talks about Pasco shooting




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