A volunteer football coach is dead after a domestic dispute escalated into violence this morning in Seffner.
Deputies say 33-year-old Ervin Washington was killed Monday at his home on Winston Manor Circle.
According to detectives, the dispute started last night, when Washington called his mother from the Walmart on Highway 92 to say that his wife, Emon Tennille Kellar, had slashed his tires and stabbed him.
Washington's mother took him to her house, then early the next morning drove him around the neighborhood so he could complete his newspaper route. Kellar began following them, and when Washington returned home, Kellar threatened him.
Moments later, the sheriff's office received a 911 call about a man who had been fatally shot at the Winston Manor home.
When deputies arrived, a neighbor told them that she had heard yelling, saw Kellar raise her hand towards Washington, then heard a loud pop.
Kellar ran inside and told her children that their father had killed himself. But deputies say Kellar was seen attempting to put the firearm into Washington's left hand.
Kellar, 34, was arrested and charged with first degree murder.
Washington was a coach for the Brandon Lions youth football team.
"I've never seen someone have such a relationship with the kids out there. Someone who the kids actually respond with the same kind of love and dedication he had for them," Clyde Wint.
Wint said he knew there were problems at home for Washington. He said Emon Kellar came to the football field on a number of occasions, verbally abusive.
"I've seen her in action before, how volatile she can get, and it was always my main concern. I would always say if it gets that bad, just walk away," he recalled.
But Clyde never thought it was physical.
"I didn't think it was to the point that it was physical. Obviously, with the turn of events today, there was more going on than what I understand was going on in the home."
Ervin's best friend said he knew about it too.
"We used to have a thing. We used to say, "follow the plan." He was supposed to when he got his taxes or some sum of money, he was going to move out, take his kids...try to do the right thing," said Barry Meadows, a fellow coach for the Brandon Lions.
But he says Ervin didn't want to leave his kids.
"He was trying to do the best for his kids. He didn't want to leave his kids behind. He wanted to make sure they were taken care of. He put his kids ahead of himself and his happiness, and that's ultimately what killed him
Now they are all stunned, shocked it went this far. The couple was raising five children: two were Ervin and Emon's together. The other three older children were Emon's from another relationship.
"They not only lost their father, but you lost your mother too. It doesn't matter what I'm feeling, we're just trying to stay strong for them and try to give them the support wherever we can," said Barry Meadows.
Clyde has no idea what he will tell the football players that looked up to Ervin.
"It's going to be really hard for me, to look at those kids faces at my park that really loved him."
He remembers one young boy who wrote an essay about Coach Ervin.
"Coach was so happy, he called me saying, 'It don't matter how many wins I get, or how much sleep I lose. That right there is the main reason i come out here. to know I can touch somebody's life like that."
"He was just one of those people that really impacted the children's lives."
Barry said, "We will keep his memory alive and try to take care of his kids like he took care of ours."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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