Clearwater, FL – Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Deputy Carlos Felipez died of a self -inflicted gunshot wound in the backyard of his home on Saturday morning.
PCSO deputies were called to the residence for a welfare check at approximately 1:07 a.m., after someone reported hearing the sound of a gunshot, WFLA reported.
They discovered the 46-year-old deputy's body in the backyard of his home.
Detectives determined that Deputy Felipez died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
He was off duty at the time of his death.
Deputy Felipez’s law enforcement career began in December of 2003, when he went to work for the St. Petersburg Police Department, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
He joined the PCSO in 2014, where he served in the department’s Patrol Operations Bureau, according to WFLA.
The department praised Deputy Felipez in September of 2018, when it posted photos of a bald eagle he and a sergeant helped to rescue from a pond.
The massive bird-of-prey had an injured wing, and was taken for treatment, the department said.
“I woke up this morning to some sad news,” Deputy Felipez’s friend, Donna Gulley, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“I didn’t want to believe it,” Gulley wrote. “I pulled out my box of photos and yours was right on top. I just spoke of you the other day. My heart is broken.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Carlos Felipez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.