Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cop killed gunman after friend called 911 to report he was nuts

In Spring Hill, Florida, two men watched their friend Luis Guillen ride away on his bicycle, a gun in his hand and a lot on his mind. Unsure of how to handle the increasingly erratic Guillen, the men called 911.

Guillen seemed headed for trouble: he had pulled a gun on Joel Dulje, fired a bullet at the ground, smacked Mike Galdorisi across the face with the weapon and then fled into the darkness, his friends said. "He just snapped," Dulje said. "We didn't know what else to do."

A few minutes later, Dulje and Galdorisi heard gunshots several blocks away. They immediately knew their troubled friend had met a tragic end.

Guillen was shot and killed by Hernando County sheriff's deputy Lance Origon early Tuesday. Responding to a 911 call about 2:40AM, Origon and another deputy saw a man riding a bicycle who matched the description given by Dulje and Galdorisi.

Guillen refused orders from the two deputies to stop, then turned around and put his hand toward his waistband. Origon then fired a single shot at Guillen, who died at the scene.

Back at the scene of what the Sheriff's Office called a home invasion, Dulje said Guillen was a friend and former co-worker who had come over Monday night to talk about problems he was having with his roommates. Dulje said he invited Guillen to go out with him and his girlfriend, hoping his friend would relax after a few beers. Instead, Dulje said, the situation worsened.

"I think everything was just getting to him," Dulje said. "I know he was struggling really badly. Something was wrong with him. He was totally out of character." After going to a couple of nearby bars, Dulje said Guillen became increasingly despondent and erratic. Dulje confronted Guillen on his lawn and told him he would have to leave his home. That's when Guillen pulled out a handgun from a knapsack on his bicycle.

Another friend, Galdorisi, said he came from inside Dulje's home to break up the argument. Galdorisi stepped in front of the gun and dared Guillen to shoot him. Guillen then fired the gun at the ground, hit Galdorisi across the face with the weapon and took off on his bike. Dulje called 911.

"I had no idea that he had a pistol," Dulje said. "Every man has his breaking point, Joel," Galdorisi said.

State records show Guillen had several brushes with the law throughout the Tampa Bay area. He has been arrested at least seven times, including charges of domestic battery and criminal mischief. At the time of his death, Guillen was serving a two-year probation from Hillsborough County for carrying a concealed firearm. (info from Tampa Bay Online)

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