SEBRING— Pasco County fugitive, Brian Roosevelt Wilson, 34, of Windemere, committed suicide on Saturday shortly after noon in the parking lot of the Lakeshore Mall. According to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, the United States Marshals contacted them Saturday morning and said they thought Wilson was in the area.
He was. Law enforcement found Wilson sitting in his 2010 red Chevrolet Malibu behind the mall toward the south end.
“We don’t know why he was sitting in the car,” the HCSO PIO said. “We had our people keeping an eye on him while we developed a strategy to get him out of the car and into custody while keeping the public safe.”
The PIO explained that they did not post what was happening on Facebook because they were trying to keep Wilson from monitoring their posts.
“He was aware of his surroundings,” the PIO said.
SWAT team members, dozens of HCSO deputies, U.S. Marshals and Highlands County EMTs were on site. The PIO said he was unsure of the exact sequence of events as of Saturday early afternoon but said law enforcement eventually approached Wilson. He fled in his car and crashed it and proceeded to shoot himself.
“We turned people away and told them which exits to leave from but we never put the mall on lockdown. We did not want people using the back exits to leave the mall. As far as I know, we didn’t put any building under lockdown.”
Jenny Cheek, general mall manager had no comment, other than to direct the Highlands News-Sun to the sheriff’s office. It was reported by a mall store manager that some stores like JC Penny’s and Belk shut their doors.
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Kevin Doll said Wilson was being looked at for the shooting of his daughter’s mother, Karisa Vasquez, who resided at the Pasco Woods apartments in Wesley Chapel. The 13 year-old daughter was in the home during the shooting.
“It is not clear if she saw the shooting but she did have to deal with the aftermath,” Doll said.
The teen gave PCSO a description of her father. Doll said the young lady was physically safe.
“The child is with safe and appropriate people,” he said.
Wilson’s warrant was for second-degree murder. Doll also said PCSO is still investigating the motive behind Vazquez’s murder. Doll said Vazquez did have a boyfriend but did not know if that had anything to do with motive.
When Pasco County Sheriff’s Office told the public to be on the alert for Wilson, they originally thought he would end up in Orlando, as he lived in Windemere and was thought to have friends and family there.
The PCSO PIO said he didn’t know if anyone helped Wilson out on purpose or inadvertently before he arrived in Highlands County. Some news outlets have reported he was seen in Orlando before he was ultimately found in the mall’s parking lot.
Wilson was in the United States Army and at one point was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and his military background was a concern for the law enforcement officials.
Wilson has one case in the Pasco County Clerk of Courts for child support in 2013.