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Spring Hill shooting suspect found dead

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Deputies escorted a woman out of her home while the suspect is at large. Deputies escorted a woman out of her home while the suspect is at large.
The house that SWAT teams surrounded The house that SWAT teams surrounded
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A man suspected of shooting his next-door neighbor in a dispute Tuesday morning took his own life, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

The discovery of Thomas Brocato – dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on the second floor of his Spring Hill home - came after deputies, including a SWAT team, spent hours trying to find and make contact with him following the shooting.

Deputies tried multiple methods to make contact with Brocato, 58, who they believed was inside his home, and a SWAT team made entry after there was no response.

The team moved especially slowly and carefully because they smelled gasoline as they approached, said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis. Once inside, they discovered the suspect had doused himself in gasoline before taking his life, he said.

Throughout the day, part of the neighborhood was roped off with yellow crime-scene tape and some residents were evacuated from their homes.

The operation began shortly after 9 a.m. when deputies responded to a neighbor's home on Siam Drive, where a man was found with gunshot wounds. The victim was later identified as William Stelling and the sheriff's office said he was in stable condition late Tuesday.

Since the shooting apparently took place at the victim's home, it's unclear whether the suspect was invited to the house or "barged in," the sheriff said.

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