The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday reported that a shooting suspect and his alleged victim are dead after an incident at the Quality Inn parking lot in Hernando.
The CCSO was first called to the scene of the shooting at about 9:14 a.m. at the hotel at 350 E. Norvell Bryant Highway, where deputies found a white, older male laying on the ground.
Emergency Medical Services were dispatched; however, deputies pronounced the man dead.
Witnesses at the scene told deputies that the suspect fled from the scene in a black Mercedes Benz SUV, which was subsequently spotted by another CCSO Patrol Unit, the Sheriff’s Office said.
A traffic stop was attempted on the suspect vehicle on Hwy 44 as it approached the Sumter County line.
Once in Sumter County, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol and the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the pursuit of the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle evaded the deployment of tire deflation devices at several locations in Sumter County.
The vehicle began to travel south on Interstate 75, where it had eventually lost control and crashed. As law enforcement began to approach the vehicle, the suspect fired on the officers, and law enforcement officers returned fire. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The suspect in this incident has been identified as 70-year-old white male, Salvatore Tirone, out of Broward County.
The Sheriff’s Office’s preliminary investigation indicates that this was a result of a jealous ex-husband, who drove to Citrus County, with the intent on killing his ex-wife’s new paramour.
The victim in this incident has been identified as 64-year-old white male Michael Quirello, out of Hernando in Citrus County.
During the shooting, a bystander attempted to intervene in this incident by making contact with Tirone. After grabbing his own firearm, the good Samaritan chased after Tirone in an attempt to stop the fleeing murder suspect.
Tirone then began running back toward his black Mercedes SUV, parked on East Atlantic Street, which is located just behind the Quality Inn. As Tirone was entering his vehicle to flee, he turned toward the good Samaritan with his gun still in his hand. The good Samaritan shot at Tirone. Tirone exited the vehicle and then shot at the good Samaritan before speeding off.
Another witness provided a detailed description of the suspect vehicle, which allowed a CCSO deputy to easily identify the vehicle when he observed it traveling east on Hwy 44.
“We are working diligently to investigate this unfortunate incident. Thankfully, it is an isolated incident and all parties have been identified. There is no further threat to the residents of our community and none of our deputies or innocent bystanders were injured,” said Sheriff Prendergast.
“We greatly appreciate all the assistance provided to us by both the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol, in stopping this armed, dangerous murder suspect. The courage of the good Samaritan likely saved lives today.”