The deadly shooting in the Carrollwood Whole Foods parking lot might have resulted from a man uncovering a secret relationship between his girlfriend and her personal trainer, Hillsborough County detectives said Wednesday.
Investigators said David Saunders, a personal trainer, was confronted by Deshaun Gregory Tuesday outside the grocery store. Deputies believe Gregory was holding an eight-inch kitchen knife when he began fighting Saunders, who was armed with a gun.
Investigators say Saunders shot Gregory, killing him.
Detective Larry McKinnon said the sheriff's office is now looking into whether Saunders and Gregory's girlfriend were in some sort of a relationship.
"We're going to naturally look just like anybody else does; was there any type of romantic involvement involved that maybe the boyfriend had found out?" McKinnon said.
McKinnon said it appears Saunders, a former Tampa Bay Storm football player, and the woman had planned to meet at the Whole Foods -- and Gregory found out.
"So that's what drove [Gregory] to that area, was that reasoning, to confront him," McKinnon said.
Detectives questioned Saunders, who was released, and is currently not charged with a crime.
Investigators are looking at surveillance video and talking with witnesses to determine whether this is a case of self defense, as Saunders claims.
His neighbors believe him.
"It must have been self-defense. Those were my very first words out of my mouth," said Cindy Schmidt, who has known Saunders for several years, adding she'd be stunned he was part of a love triangle. "He plays with his kids. He seems like a nice dad, a nice family man."
Saunders is also a volunteer youth football coach with the Tampa Bay Youth Football League, coaching the Citrus Park Bills, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The State Attorney's Office will decide whether the shooting was a justifiable homicide, or whether criminal charges should be filed against Saunders.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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