It is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the thoughts running through Richard Buendia's head.
Friday night authorities say his 24-year-old son Matthew Buendia shot a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy at point blank range three times.
Deputy Lyonelle De Veaux was responding to a domestic call at Buendia’s apartment when the shooting occurred. A short time later, Matthew called his father.
“He just said something happened,” Richard Buendia recalled from the conversation. “He said he wanted to take his life.”
The elder Buendia lives in Texas while his son resides in an apartment complex in the 4700 block of West Waters Ave. in Tampa.
According to a HCSO report, Deputy De Veaux was preparing to question Buendia's girlfriend Jessica Gipson when the suspect allegedly opened fire.
Norma Graman lives a few apartments away from Gipson and Buendia, a few feet away from where the deputy was hit.
“The girl [Gipson] was standing right there crying,” Graman said. “That was scary. I’ve never seen anything like that, not up close like that.”
The episode did not end there. Investigators say Buendia went back inside his apartment and set up a barricade. The area was shutdown for several hours as authorities talked to the suspect.
Finally Buendia was apprehended after deputies used explosive charges to get him to come out.
Richard Buendia was worried that he would never see his son again.
“This is just like a nightmare,” he said.
The elder Buendia claims his son suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. At the age of 18 he joined the Marines and spent five years with them. During that time he did three tours of duty overseas – two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
The experience changed Matthew his father says. His personality was different.
“He's received treatment ever since he got out,” Richard Buendia says. “It's a military reaction he had, I'm almost certain of it.”
Richard is thankful the deputy wasn’t killed. He is now hoping Matthew can get the treatment he so desperately needs.
The suspect was transported to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of some minor injuries. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail late Saturday afternoon.
Buendia is facing one count of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer with a firearm, one count of battery by strangulation, one count of domestic battery and one count of tampering with a state witness.
Gipson, 28, suffered minor injuries, was treated and released. The suspect is being held without bond pending his first appearance before a judge.
That is scheduled to take place Sunday morning.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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