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Former HCSO Sergeant Says Firing is “Retaliation” Cleared by FDLE in Fatal Shooting

HERNANDO – Stories of officer involved shootings have become common place with most news organizations and probably rank in the top five daily headlines, alongside Russia-Trump, terror attacks, healthcare and North Korea’s “weekly” missile tests. Regardless of the circumstances, when news of a lost loved one reaches the doorsteps of unsuspecting family, a tidal wave of grief, confusion and anger often overwhelm survivors.

Hernando County is no stranger to shootings that involve Law Enforcement Officers and like the majority of cases around the country, incidents are almost always ruled justified by the investigating agency, e.g., The Florida Department of Law Enforcement. But there are occasions when an officer’s actions are brought into question and in those cases the officer can face criminal charges or other disciplinary action. To the surprise of one former Hernando County Sheriff’s Sergeant Deputy, an apparent “suicide by cop” incident that occurred last year led to her termination from the agency, despite being cleared of any wrongdoing by the FDLE.

On September 15, 2016 Deputy James Devorak and then-Sgt. Gisele Dunn shot and killed 69-year-old Joseph Schlosser inside his home on Ridge Top Loop in Weeki Wachee. In accordance with agency policy, Dunn and Devorak were placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

According to officials, Deputy Devorak was the first to arrive at Mr. Schlosser’s home located at 10264 Ridge Top Loop around 1:00 p.m. that afternoon. Mr. Schlosser’s nurse, Lisa Pedone, called 911 over concerns that Mr. Schlosser might be suicidal and possibly experiencing a stroke. She also stated that he was crying and writing on a notepad, which was later determined to be a suicide note.

While other deputies, including Sgt. Gisele Dunn were still en route to the scene, Dep. Devorak had already entered the home and was negotiating with Mr. Schlosser on his lanai. During their conversation, Mr. Schlosser revealed a holstered handgun from his lap and placed it on the table – keeping it within reach. By that time, Sgt. Dunn had arrived on scene and was approaching the lanai with a less than lethal shotgun. To her surprise, Sgt. Dunn observed Dep. Devorak sitting in close proximity to an armed and suicidal Schlosser. After several commands to back away from the firearm, Mr. Schlosser grabbed the handgun, pointed it at Sgt. Dunn, and then back at Dep. Devorak. Sgt. Dunn fired two beanbag round, striking Mr. Schlosser in the thigh and abdomen. Mr. Schlosser was unfazed by non-lethal rounds and continued to threaten Sgt. Dunn and Dep Devorak, leaving them with no choice but to use lethal force. Sgt. Dunn and Dep. Devorak fired several rounds at Mr. Schlosser which led to his death. CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO

As expected, investigations by the State Attorney’s Office and the FDLE Cleared Sgt. Dunn and Dep. Devorak of any wrongdoing, due to Mr. Schlosser’s intentions to commit “suicide by cop.” But for Sgt. Dunn the case didn’t come to a close; in fact, in December of last year the Sheriff’s Office opened an Internal Affairs Investigation into Sgt. Dunn’s actions, and on June 20th of this year she was terminated from the agency.

Shocked and angered by the unexpected decision, Dunn contacted RNRF to share her side of the story and she says legal action against the Sheriff’s Office for wrongful termination is not off the table.

Chief Deputy, Col. Michael Maurer issued a memo to Sheriff Al Nienhuis on June 20th, recommending Dunn be terminated for violating agency policies under Use of Control, Discretion of Sworn Personnel, and Supervisory Responsibility. To summarize the allegations, Col. Maurer found that “Sgt. Dunn was clearly not in control of the event from the start. She admits she didn’t realize where personnel were positioned nor even who was on scene…” Col. Maurer goes on to say, “She was fixated on misinformation and was experiencing a severe episode of ‘tunnel vision.’” Col. Maurer continues, “She proved that she lacks the capacity to take responsibility for her conduct and actions. These are not acceptable actions of a Deputy Sheriff, particularly a Supervisor.”

After an interview with Mrs. Dunn, reviewing the I.A. and FDLE reports, we submitted a few questions to the Sheriff’s Office for clarification. In an email we asked, “Dunn points out that while Mr. Schlosser was armed with a handgun, Devorak sat down and had a conversation with him. And at one point turns his back on the suspect to retrieve a glass of water for him. Dunn says, and with all due respect to Dep. Devorak, he violated several standards and placed his life at risk. Did Devorak violate any procedures by entering a home that he knew a suicidal subject was armed and could possibly be establishing a ‘suicide by cop’ scenario?” Public Information Officer Denise Moloney responded to that and other questions by stating, “We would recommend that you read the entire IA investigation before you write a story based upon Mrs. Dunn’s recollection of events.” Mrs. Dunn says she doesn’t place blame on Dep. Devorak for the chain of events that day but she questions why, at the very least, he wasn’t reprimanded for putting their lives in jeopardy by sitting down with an armed, suicidal man.

The I.A. Investigation concluded, and the State Attorney’s Office concurred, that Schlosser had been suffering from depression for some time and that his suicide note, coupled with his actions that day, led one to believe that his actions could be characterized as “suicide by cop.” Even Schlosser’s wife, Laurie Tyszko told investigators, “…Schlosser may have committed or even planned a “suicide by cop scenario rather than commit the act of shooting himself.” She apologized to the deputies for her husband “creating a scenario that led to the deputies taking a human life.”

During an FDLE interview, Dep. Devorak tells investigators that Schlosser asks, “Will you get me a soda out of the refrigerator?” Devorak got up from his chair, walked over to the refrigerator and retrieved a Sprite for Mr. Schlosser. Dunn says she was shocked when she found out that Dep. Devorak had turned his back on an armed and unstable subject. Even Devorak states in this testimony, “All I though was I was getting shot. I swear to God, I was like oh my God, I’m gonna get shot.”

Prior to the fatal shots being fired, Mr. Schlosser points his firearm in Dunn’s direction, then leans over to Dep. Devorak and says, “I’m not going to hurt you…” Dep. Devorak says that’s when he feared that Mr. Schlosser was going to shoot Dunn.

It should be noted that Mr. Schlosser was an avid gun collector and he had positioned a high-powered Gatling Gun in the foyer, pointed towards the front door. Dunn and Dep. Devorak both feared that if Mr. Schlosser were to gain access to that weapon he could injure or kill deputies and Fire Rescue personnel staging outside the residence.

Dunn says, “I know that Dep. Devorak’s intentions were good and pure; he was just trying to peacefully negotiate. He is a kind, caring person, and he would give the shirt off his back to a complete stranger. But, in this case, I think his desire to help counsel a suicidal man blinded him to danger.”

Dunn says in her 16 years with the Sheriff’s Office she can only recall receiving 3 to 4 written reprimands over issues between her and other deputies.

I asked Dunn why she thinks the Sheriff’s Office chose to terminate her and she said, “Retaliation for previously complaining about a hostile work environment.” Turns out, through our investigation we learned of a  possible EEOC complaint filed by Mrs. Dunn in 2007 that led to a federal lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office. There are also unconfirmed reports that a settelemnt was reached between Dunn and the Sheriff’s Office. Dunn was unable to comment on the case due to a Gag order issued by a Judge.

Laurie Tyszko told RNRF that she now plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on any potential lawsuits filed by Mrs. Tyszko or Mrs. Dunn.


This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.



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  • @Cathy Hager, I like to know where you get your information from about my dad. I suggest you should keep your mouth shut. Someone is misinforming you, and I have a feeling that it is his ex-wife.

    Wednesday, 2 August 2017, 4:23 pm
  • I see only one way to fix this problem…Dig up Wyatt Earp, make him the new sheriff, and lets clean up this county once and for all!

    Wednesday, 2 August 2017, 1:54 pm
  • Ok a deputy was already on scene and clearly was handling the situation peacefully.she was half baked and blew away a man taking his life.i agree with the outcome,she should be fired,taking a life should be a last resort.i was not there but if the original deputy on scene was comfortable enough to turn for a drink for the man i dont see why she blew him away.she over reacted and a man is dead and she lost her job.maybe fdle cleared her of criminal charges.but the sherriff did the right thing in this case as she showed poor judgement and she should not be in that position. She clearly did not know what was happening and opened fire on what was a controlled scene already.

    Monday, 31 July 2017, 5:26 pm
    • You should really learn how to read. It clearly stated that BOTH shot him.
      I think the sheriff did the wrong thing in firing her.

      Monday, 31 July 2017, 10:10 pm
      • Yes he fired too,After she fired non leathal shots and det the whole situation in motion so i guess stupid is as stupid does,so yes he fired after she provoked the subject,also if u listen to the recording from dispatch it was undercontrol until she walked in,so maybe you shoukd read again.just saying

        Tuesday, 1 August 2017, 8:47 pm
      • 1. The guns are not worth a lot of money. They are all replicas! Black powdered that can’t fire. Hand guns yes.
        2. I am a supervisor for UPS, and in a store, so it’s not for the money.
        3. Joe had a stroke, and he new what he was doing??? Maybe you should read his note that looked like a 3rd grader wrote.
        4. His gun was on the table in a holster strapped!! Not close enough to just reach. He asked her not to point it at him because he was not doing anything but having a conversation with a cop that yes new him! He new him enough to get him a drink and leave the gun with him. This cop asked Dunn to stand down that everything was fine. She didn’t care, walked up, said, “this is gonna hurt” and shot him.
        5. She admitted she wasn’t doing her job right. Admitted seeing the gun on the table, and still shot him.
        6. Joe didn’t leave his ex wife. She left him because he was a “cripple” she stated.

        Read every report! It would make your stomach turn.

        Wednesday, 2 August 2017, 5:32 pm
  • Someone had a gun and the deputy who turned his back on the suspect definetly needs major training!!!Looks like the Sheriff and the #2 man colonel Maurer have no idea what there doing period.The deputy should be suspended!!!

    Monday, 31 July 2017, 10:35 am
    • I agree, Mitch.

      Tuesday, 1 August 2017, 1:37 pm
  • I read this twice and don’t quite understand why the Officer was fired. The bean bag should have left marks on his body so I guess that’s not in dispute. It was brave of the first Officer on site to attempt to save the man in light of the gun and had he been successful, my guess is he would have received an accommodation—the man was suicidal. The tunnel vision seems to belong to the investigator.

    Monday, 31 July 2017, 7:48 am
  • Interestingly, Dep. Devorak is on the Woodland Waters HOA Board of Directors. You can validate the fact that he is part of the HOA Board via the following link towards the bottom of the page…

    It’s interesting that he is involved in the neighborhood where this took place a little more than just responding to a call.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 8:27 pm
    • So what,who cares if it was even his relative,he was in control of the situation,he was talking the guy down,what the efff does your comment have to do with what happen

      Tuesday, 1 August 2017, 8:50 pm
  • The wife said she knew it was suicide by cop and now she’s suing them??…. sounds like she’s almost out of all the money she got from him….

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 8:15 pm
  • Interestingly Dep. Devorak is a resident of Woodland Waters and on the HOA board of the community as well.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 7:12 pm
  • Sad that a law enforcement officer thinks. 4 reprimands in 16 year career is good…that alone could cost someone a job.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 7:09 pm
  • The ex-sergeant makes Col Maurer’s point: “She proved that she lacks the capacity to take responsibility for her conduct and actions. These are not acceptable actions of a Deputy Sheriff, particularly a Supervisor.”

    Excellent personnel move Sheriff.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 5:31 pm
  • He always had alot of money. It was not a replica. Ive seen it myself. He did this on purpose

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 2:03 pm
  • Sgt. Gisele Dunn is formerly Gisele Mulverhill and she has never been well liked by her fellow deputies at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. I’m sure Col. Maurer knew good and well how extensively disliked she was within the agency. That must’ve seeped into his brain when he recommended that her employment be terminated.
    I must also point out that this “article” is convoluted – that’s putting it mildly actually. There is nothing in that opening paragraph that is germane to the story.
    This website has had a series of different owners/operators, right? Time for a new one.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 1:17 pm
  • Gatling Gun in the foyer says enough.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 11:46 am
  • Schlosser should have been shot by the officer. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was an officer in the past. He divorced his wife after a very long marriage for a younger woman. He was not a sane man. There was nothing wring with whatever the officers did. That’s what he wanted. His new wife also knew what he was doing. It is bullshit that an officer should feel any blame for this incident. God bless officers who have to deal with these situations.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 11:04 am
    • I don’t know where you are getting your information from, probably from the ex-wife…it’s all one sided! But you should be more considerate of what you post on here. Family members close to the deceased are reading this too and don’t appreciate the accusatory comments that are not true.

      Wednesday, 2 August 2017, 4:59 pm
    • Watch what you say. Family’s members are reading filth that you are saying about him.

      Wednesday, 2 August 2017, 5:27 pm
  • Was it a modern Gatling gun he had or a replica as they are very very expensive. also hard to see an old man getting hit with 2 rounds and nothing. I shot out a window with a bean bag round before. Im sure there is more to the termination than meets the eye.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 11:00 am
  • Under the current sheriff, problems have surfaced that really need to have an external investigation (FDLE) or FBI probe.

    Sunday, 30 July 2017, 4:29 am
  • This so called Deputy didn’t use her skills when she attended Crisis Intervention Training upon arriving my father’s house. She disobeyed department protocol and the first responding Officer. My father may still be alive!

    Saturday, 29 July 2017, 11:13 pm
  • Just like the murdering cop GLADFELTER !!!!! Then stole the police berievement fund!! SCUM!!!

    Saturday, 29 July 2017, 10:24 pm
  • Hernando Sheriff’s office been in the news alot lately hmmm is the FBI coming yet?

    Saturday, 29 July 2017, 9:52 pm
    • What does the FBI have to do with the firing of a Sergeant after a shooting incident? Do you know how any of this works? Lol…..

      Saturday, 29 July 2017, 11:26 pm
  • This cop should if been charged and put under the jail for murder the other deputy had the situation under control and this bitch roles up barking orders at a old man who’s already having a break down .glad you are off the force to bad you weren’t fired before this man lost his life.

    Saturday, 29 July 2017, 9:30 pm

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