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Pinellas deputy arrested on attempted manslaughter charge

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested one of its own Friday in connection with the December shooting of a suspect during a traffic stop. Deputy Timothy Virden was arrested on attempted manslaughter charges after shooting Dylan Tompkins-Holmes twice.

The shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Dec. 30 near Johns Pass. Virden stopped Tompkins-Holmes’ girlfriend and was investigating a possible DUI when he, as a passenger, began disrupting the proceedings. Tompkins-Holmes reportedly told his girlfriend not to cooperate with Virden.

Virden asked Tompkins-Holmes several times to stop his disruptions, then arrested him after he persisted. Virden put Tompkins-Holmes in the back of his Sheriff’s SUV cruiser, but the complained that his pants fell down.

Virden reportedly let him leave the vehicle while handcuffed to adjust his pants. Tompkins-Holmes reached for Virden’s gun, reports state, and a struggle for the weapon ensued. Virden secured the gun, but fearing for his life fired the weapon twice, reports state. Bullets hit Tompkins-Virden once in the wrist and in the abdomen.

Initial reports claimed Virden shot in self-defense, although the suspect apparently was in handcuffs at the time of the shooting.

Check back with SaintPetersblog for more information on this developing story.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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