Tampa Police Dispatcher Slain in Apparent Murder, Suicide
The Tampa Police Department has confirmed the woman killed in this morning’s murder-suicide had worked for the agency since 2009.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies have identified the two people found this morning in an apparent murder-suicide.
The bodies of Deanna L. Mendoza, 34, and Pedro O. Mendoza, 42, were found just after 9 a.m. today, Jan. 24, in a Hyundai Sonata parked outside a home at 8361 Galewood Circle, according to a sheriff’s office media release. Both Mendozas, who were married, but separated, suffered gunshot wounds, deputies say.
Deanna Mendoza was a dispatch trainer for the Tampa Police Department, the agency confirmed a short while ago. She had been named the agency’s employee of the month for January 2012 and was “recognized for volunteering to assist supervisors with training new dispatchers working the midnight shift,” a TPD media release said. “She also received praise for her ability to calmly handle chaotic emergency situations and for continuously displaying an upbeat attitude.”
In an email to employees, Chief Jane Castor mourned the loss.
“It is with great sadness that I inform you that we have lost a family member,” Castor wrote. “She (Deanna) was a valued member of our team and a wonderful person. She leaves behind three children, other family members and countless friends.”
It is believed that Deanne Mendoza drove to the home that Pedro was living in. He, according to a media release, came out of the home and shot Deanna while she was still in the driver’s seat. Pedro, the release said, then got into the car’s back seat and shot himself.
The Mendozas’ addresses are not being released by authorities.