Woman Seriously Injured in Deputy Involved Shooting During a Dispute Involving a Flare Gun
Detectives from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a deputy involved shooting after a man shot at his neighbor with a flare gun during a neighbor dispute. A woman was seriously injured.
According to detectives, at about 9:23 a.m. on Monday, November 5, 2018, deputies were called to 2480 Cypress Pond Road, Apartment #608 in Palm Harbor, for a report of a vandalized vehicle.
Deputy Joseph Wodraska responded to the residence and made contact with the complainant, 27-year-old Gia Tomossone. Tomossone told deputies that someone had broken out the windows to her Cadillac parked in the apartment complex lot behind her residence.
During the course of the investigation, Deputy Wodraska conducted a neighborhood canvas to see if any of the neighbors knew who damaged Tomossone’s vehicle. Deputy Wodraska made contact with 39-year-old Joshua D’Anastasio who lived in the second floor apartment next door to Tomossone. D’Anastasio denied knowing anything about Tomossone’s damaged vehicle.
Deputy Wodraska left the scene after conducting his investigation and suggested Tomossone contact the Sheriff’s Office if she received information on who may have damaged her vehicle.
Detectives say at about 12:17 p.m. Deputy Wodraska was called back to Tomossone’s residence after she and her boyfriend, 33 year-old Kevin King, witnessed D’Anastasio acting suspiciously and hiding a blunt object in the dumpster near their apartment.
Deputy Wodraska returned to the scene and requested a forensic science specialist to respond and process potential evidence.
Detectives say Deputy Wodraska was speaking with Tomossone at the rear of her apartment near the parking lot when D’Anastasio came out onto his second floor rear balcony and began yelling at Deputy Wodraska. Deputy Wodraska ignored D’Anastasio and continued talking with Tomossone.
At the same time, Tomossone’s boyfriend, Kevin King, was next door out on his second floor rear balcony when D’Anastasio began yelling and threatening King.
D’Anastasio and King were arguing over the balconies when D’Anastasio told King he had something for him. D’Anastasio walked back into his apartment and returned to the balcony with his arm extended towards King holding what Deputy Wodraska believed to be a gun.
Detectives say Deputy Wodraska saw the muzzle flash and heard the gun go off as D’Anastasio discharged the gun at King. Deputy Wodraska was in fear for the safety of King, Tomossone, and himself when he returned fire at D’Anastasio discharging multiple rounds from his department issued handgun.
Deputy Wodraska’s rounds missed D’Anastasio and shattered a sliding glass door behind D’Anastasio. As deputies were challenging D’Anastasio on his balcony, D’Anastasio’s girlfriend, 42-year-old Gwen Stubbs, came out of the apartment bleeding.
Deputies took D’Anastasio into custody without incident and rendered medical aid to Stubbs. Paramedics transported Stubbs to a local hospital for injuries consistent with a gunshot wound to her left arm.
Detectives recovered the gun D’Anastasio discharged at King and determined it was a flare gun.
Detectives also learned that Deputy Wodraska never saw Stubbs because she was inside D’Anastasio’s apartment behind the sliding glass door at the time of the shooting.
Detectives say there were multiple witnesses to the incident including a Sheriff’s Office forensic science specialist.
D’Anastasio was arrested and charged with one count of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm.
D’Anastasio was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
Deputy Wodraska will be placed on routine paid administrative leave.
The investigation continues.