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A Deltona man was shot and killed on Christmas Eve by sheriff’s deputies who were responding to a domestic-disturbance call.

Before he was killed, the man shot his sister, who was visiting from out of state following the recent death of their mother.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood said deputies responded to the home at 1003 W. Gaucho Circle after 8 p.m. Dec. 24, following a 911 call regarding Harvey Cantrell, who was armed and “had some issues.” The sister, Gretchen Knowles, had called an out-of-state relative and reported her brother was “irrational, abusive and armed with a firearm,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

As Cantrell’s sister was coming out of the home to meet the deputies, the sheriff explained, Cantrell followed close behind and shot her in her left shoulder. The bullet ricocheted from her shoulder to her left jaw and knocked out some of her teeth, the sheriff said. 

As soon as she was injured, deputies close by opened fire and killed 65-year-old Cantrell. Knowles, 73, was transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital, but she was in stable condition and was expected to be released, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

In line with standard procedure following the use of deadly force, the three deputies involved in Cantrell’s death are on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 

Mayor Herzberg, who lives nearby, accompanied Chitwood to the scene of the shooting to meet with members of the news media.

Chitwood credited the deputies for acting quickly to save the Knowles’ life.

 

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