A female police officer was shot dead by her detective boyfriend in a murder-suicide while they were on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida. Abigail Bieber, 30, was shot dead by her boyfriend Det. Daniel Leyden before he turned the gun on himself. Their bodies were found inside a rental home in the Butler Beach area early Sunday morning.
According to the sheriff's office, Leyden and Bieber, who were in a romantic relationship, were on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida, with some other deputies. It is not known what went wrong between the two that resulted in the murder-suicide.
According to preliminary evidence, Hillsborough Sheriff's Office Detective Leyden first shot and murdered Bieber, a deputy with the sheriff's office, before turning the gun on himself.
Authorities said deputies who were present in the other room heard the couple arguing in a bedroom just before the sound of gunshots. The incident happened at around 10 pm on Saturday night, according to News 4 Jacksonville.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, neighbors watched deputies evacuating people through the vacation rental's second-story window and ordering a man inside to come out with his hands on his head.
The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office has launched an investigation into the incident. However, Bieber's body was brought in a hearse back home on Wednesday with officers lining the streets.
It is not known what went wrong between the couple. "Our sheriff's office family is still reeling from the shock of this unthinkable tragedy," Sheriff Chad Chronister said.
"This tragedy has left our sheriff's office family grief-stricken. There is a void within our hearts that can never be filled, but I hope that Deputy Beiber's legacy will be the way she lived her life, as a selfless servant," Chronister said.
Affair Gone Wrong
Bieber family is yet to give a statement on her tragic death as they are yet o to come out of the shock. The 30-year-old deputy was known to an outstanding officer.
She "had a number of remarkable encounters" during her tenure with the sheriff's office, including taking part in drug busts and serving as a role model to children, the department said.
Since February 2018, Bieber had been assigned to Uniform Patrol at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. According to the sheriff's office, she routinely responded to calls involving sexual battery and child abuse and desired to work as a detective in the Criminal Investigations Special Victims Section.
"Deputy Abigail Bieber was an outstanding law enforcement officer, and by all accounts, an even better person who left a positive impact on every member of her squad and the countless members of our community who she encountered while on patrol," Chronister said. "Violence is never a solution."
Bieber used to work the midnight shift under his supervision, according to retired Hillsborough Lt. Andrew Baxter, who added that supervisors across the agency valued her performance and were always seeking to recruit her on their shifts.
The fact that she died at the hands of another officer, Baxter said, 'was personal on a few different levels. "She's an angel on Earth, essentially, and she was brutally murdered by another one of us," retired Hillsborough Lt. Andrew Baxter also told the Tampa Bay Times. "And it's not an easy pill to swallow."