Florida Wellness Check Goes Wrong When Deputy Shoots 88-Year-Old

In a sad turn of events, a Florida deputy sheriff shot and killed an elderly man during a welfare checkup at his home in Riverview. The man, Ronald Ehrich, 88, was armed and threatened to shoot Deputy Anastacia Castillo, who responded with deadly force.

One of Ehrich’s neighbors called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office on December 7th, earlier this week. According to the neighbor, Ehrich’s garage door was open and left open for at least two days, and the sheriff’s office was concerned that he may have been in “some type of medical emergency.”

When the deputy responded to the call, she found the open garage door as well as another open door leading into the man’s home. She searched the ground floor trying to see if the resident was there then proceeded to the second floor where she encountered Ehrich.

Ehrich was in a locked bedroom on the second floor, and when the deputy found him, he opened the door with a firearm and threatened to shoot. Castillo retreated from the bedroom with Ehrich down a hallway into a guest bedroom.

SEE ALSO: CCW Holder Shot and Killed by Deputy After Police Claim He Waved Gun at Them

Unfortunately, Ehrich followed her into the guest bedroom and cornered Castillo. According to the deputy, Castillo ordered Ehrich to drop his gun multiple times but he ignored her commands, forcing her to shoot him.

“There is no other way to describe this other than tragic,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister in a statement. “This deputy went in to save a life, expecting to find someone experiencing a medical emergency. She made every attempt to deescalate the situation before being forced to fire her weapon for her own safety.”

Ehrich was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The deputy has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since 2015 and has no history of using deadly force prior to this encounter.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has released body camera footage leading up to the events that day. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will further investigate the shooting.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • jjkarn December 15, 2021, 7:45 pm

    “retreated from the bedroom with Ehrich down a hallway into a guest bedroom.? Seriously?!?!?
    Ok, whos, whats, and whys aside, that was, from a strictly tactical perspective, STUPID. Why retreat to a position on the second floor with no escape route? Why not retreat back down the stairs, then back into the squad car, and then back to the station?

    You file the report as follows:
    “Subject is still very much alive, appeared healthy, meaner than a snake and heavily armed. Left him the Hell alone. He’s 88 and will statistically be dead soon enough via natural causes (or maybe not). Recommendation is no future welfare checks. Not worth the risk or effort.”

    Far less paperwork than a shooting.

  • Edward December 13, 2021, 9:24 am

    Next time maybe do the smell test?? So much for “welfare checks”

  • Michael Skeen December 11, 2021, 6:22 pm

    You armchair quarterbacks make me sick. Your uninformed, ignorant, and, for the most part, barely literate comments are embarrassing. The cop bashing makes you sound more like the Democrats you’re whining about, and the misogynistic (I know, you’ll probably need a dictionary) statements about the officer involved are mind-boggling in the 21st century. I pity your wives and daughters. Bottom line, those of you spewing this crap are exactly why so many people think gun owners are a bunch of beer-swilling, uneducated hillbillies.

    • Kevin December 16, 2021, 3:17 pm

      Bootlicker.

  • JB December 10, 2021, 4:31 pm

    My home is not open to anyone, garage door up or down. To Cops or peddlers my home is off limits and posted by signs. I am openly armed both in my home and on my property.

    I work outside daily and mail carriers, Amazon, Fedx and UPS deliver deliver packages to my hands without hesitancy as they see on my hip a holstered weapon.

    This cop had no business inside the mans home. None at all. What police departments do wellness checks requested by strangers ? Whether this guy was off his meds or on moonshine he was inside his home. Anyone else in his home was an intruder. Dam any cop enter my home uninvited and demanding I present an ID. My ID will be lead not plastic. I hope this mans family gets plenty of cash for this cops deadly error.

  • Todd December 10, 2021, 1:46 pm

    Yup.. “tragic” all ’round!

    I wonder at a couple things though:

    Why did the *concerned* neighbor not look in and if unable – have another neighbor look into it first?

    How did the Officer get backed into a “Guest bedroom”?

    I’m not saying either question leads to supporting either principal in this but in the end, I am curious.

    I happen to have a quite elderly neighbor, some houses down, that will leave his garage open beyond expected hours maybe once a month or less. It would never occur to me or any of my equally concerned neighbors to call the cops.

    Todd.

    • jim December 10, 2021, 3:35 pm

      Let me help you understand, Todd. First, not all neighbors are comfortable walking into someone’s open house. Maybe they knew he had a gun, and feared he might think they were there to do him harm. Also, nobody wants to walk into a house and find a dead person. Ergo, they let the police handle it. Second, he had a gun pointed at her, leaving her two choices… kill him, or retreat. She tried to defuse the sit by retreating. Not knowing all the rooms of the house…she wound up in a guest bedroom. Why is that so hard to understand?

      Yes, she could have said, “Sir, I am going to back out of your house now. Please stay where you are, and come outside when you are ready to talk to us”. Of course, she might have caught a bullet in the back.

      it is very possible that he had advanced Alzheimer’s, which often creates considerable paranoia. Or, maybe he saw this as a way of ending his problems without committing suicide, which is a mortal sin in Christianity.

      All we know is that he was armed, advanced on an officer, trapping her with no room to escape. She killed him. A bad outcome, but better than him killing her.

  • swimmer December 10, 2021, 1:46 pm

    Maybe she should have left and called for backup.

    • Stan d. Upnow December 11, 2021, 10:08 am

      Yup. What I’ve said.

  • Stan d. Upnow December 10, 2021, 12:59 pm

    Tragic indeed! Possibly the old guy was a little off his rocker, but maybe not. Of course the media wouldn’t show the complete video of the event. I question as to why the officer didn’t make a hasty retreat the way she came, then call the situation in. If that had occurred, a negotiation team trained in such situations might have arrived and this whole thing could’ve possibly been avoided. Instead, the officer backs into a spare bedroom where she had to know there was no exit??? Ehrich might have thought she was a fake cop doing a home invasion; not uncommon.
    She had “no choice” but to kill Ehrich in self-defense? That’s certainly debatable, in my opinion.

  • Semo December 10, 2021, 12:07 pm

    Wow! A lot of folks seem to have blind sympathy for this guy simply because of his age. Sounds like the deputy was doing her job and the guy likely wasn’t in his right mind but I doubt seriously if this deputy was trigger happy and it doesn’t sound like she was able to get out of harms way before the confrontation. And the remarks that insinuate women shouldn’t have guns…lol…really?

    • Bruce December 10, 2021, 9:57 pm

      sounds like she schould have been better trained thats why they schouldnt de fund the police they need better training how did she get backed into room lack of experience or common sense i guess .shity neighbors dont help either some things need to change in this country shits getting out of controll

    • Blue Knight December 14, 2021, 4:50 am

      Law enforcement has the right to enter for welfare checks, because family and neighbors do not necessarily have that right and do not want to stumble into a dead body, someone emaciated, or hanging by the neck from a beam or see a room with brains and skull hanging from the ceiling. This person was a former cop. In most all cases, no way a former cop possessing his senses, would draw on another officer. Sounds strongly like a case of dementia, after all he was 88. A friend of mine was in a similar fix when an elderly man walked up to his patrol car and attacked with a shotgun. They dont know whats going on and are often angry or paranoid. Logic did not work and she gave him very fair warning. For you armchair hero’s, You don’t face a firearm with a taser, capstun or a nightstick. Capstun is less effective on people suffering mental issues. This is not murder and she did not invade the home. There are no winners here, Shitty things happen to cops too.

  • renny seymour December 10, 2021, 11:11 am

    she should have left the man’s house when she saw he was not in distress. her business, welfare check, was concluded

    • Stan d. Upnow December 10, 2021, 1:19 pm

      Hard to say what exactly occurred, because the body-cam video shows very little(why?). If the officer had said that his neighbor, Mr. _________, called us to check on you in response to Ehrich’s question, “Who’s there?”, maybe Ehrich would’ve had a different response.
      We’ll probably never know, unless there’s a lot more than the video snippet in this article is showing.

  • alex gregis December 10, 2021, 8:57 am

    another example why women should not be armed and on the streets!! i watched a video of the cop on trial for pulling her gun instead of her taser,she shot the guy,which in my eyes she had every right to do,by accident,so instead of taking control of a bad situation,she literally rolled around scream and crying on the ground that she was gong to jail,what an asshole!!! it was embarrassing to watch,not only did she make herself look guilty,she was training a rookie and he held it together better than she did,women rights on parade!! by the way,she not try to render aid,she just broke down like a child!!

    • Slim December 10, 2021, 10:10 am

      She broke down like a kid because that’s the TRUE person coming out that knows she’s done WRONG SO MANY WOMAN that are ALL now going to be potential killers of this cop who NO SUCH THING as an accident when the taser shouldn’t EVER be put on the same side as the sidearm so stupid ass crap like this doesn’t happen. And if she had it that was and still drew on the gun on the complete opposite side of her person where the taser actually was then it’s even worse in my eyes as she’s guilty! Cops cannot make stupid ass mistakes like pulling a gun instead of a taser since she again should of known what she pulled had she ever actually been properly trained(only 250 9mm max rounds are used to train Marion County Florida and many surrounding counties to train students who sign up for local college classes to be trained to be a cop by retired cops and that’s less than most people shoot at the range on an afternoon outing just for fun and most all don’t actually train for self defense and is more of a blast fest at my local range anyways)then she wouldn’t of shot that guy that honestly I never followed up on after seeing a short video where I didn’t even see her rolling around on the ground crying, just showed her shoot him and gun take off. His family is going to be very wealthy after this as there’s zero chance 12 people aren’t going to say they deserve a crap load of money for their family member let’s be honest here was executed for lack of training or she actually meant to either way dude was shot at point blank range with 100% some sort of self defense round that further gave him less of a chance to live. Six months of mostly all inside the class room training and max 250 rounds max needed to be so called “trained” to know exactly when and how to shoot and taught by max a few old retired cops in a room full of students at around 30-40 students per semester. Lots of peoples lives are ruined all because this moron didn’t notice the huge weight difference between a polymer super blocky and brightly colored yellow taser that absolutely has a different feel than a GLOCK grip(or whatever she used to kill the poor guy)and the fact a GLOCK has to weigh at least triple the weight with a fully loaded mag and isn’t super blocky and huge with brightly colored yellow with I think also have reflective stripes on some! So is it really an accident or her fault? Even if she wasn’t trained correctly she would of or should of known this when she tested at the range even if she passed. You know if your a good confident shooter or not! One who is capable to carry! In todays nightmare climate I’m so glad if you already didn’t I just barely one tiny step away from being a cop as I couldn’t come up with tuition after buying all the legal bs and other papers that filled around 8 huge 3-5 inch thick binders that I still remember cost me over $600 around 15 years ago now that was all a waste in the end. Then after two times trying and meeting with the Commander twice and was approved with background checks using finger prints and blah blah I found out that unlike I was told by a person in college student aid the classes did qualify for student aid! But I would of for sure quit anyways when COVID hit like tens of thousands have so far.

  • Robert Olsen December 10, 2021, 8:50 am

    Kk, you’re describing a trained police officer as an “untrained, blood-thirsty, thug”. You must be thinking about some Antifa scumbags, not a police officer. And since you weren’t there, how can you make such spurious comments? As far as the rest of the anti-police comments, I wonder if home invaders visits any of you, your attitudes stay the same. Carefully read what was reported. It sounds as if the officer did everything she could when confronted by a dangerous individual.

  • jstert December 10, 2021, 8:25 am

    clearly a disoriented senior citizen. senile, malnourished and/or dehydrated? no taser? no pepper spray? no baton? back the blue?

    this “peace officer” needs to turn in her badge forever.

  • Link Lackluster December 10, 2021, 7:24 am

    Dumb.

  • Roland December 10, 2021, 6:41 am

    Lets make one quick correction to the story. She had no PRIOR history of using deadly force. She murdered a very old man that was trying to protect himself and his home from a Murderous Armed home invader. This is proven by the end result.

    • Jose Jimenez December 10, 2021, 2:02 pm

      “Castillo retreated from the bedroom with Ehrich down a hallway into a guest bedroom.

      Unfortunately, Ehrich followed her into the guest bedroom and cornered Castillo.”

      Did any of you cop bashing turds read those sentences? Judging from your comments, the answer would be a resounding NO.

      Personally, I believe this to be a case of “suicide by cop”. I suspect he was lonely, if he had any, where was his family, perhaps he was terminally ill, dementia or cognitive decline of many manifestations, or who knows what else may have been driving him. He had the assumed invader on the run, why follow?

      And finally, he had the assumed invader on the run, why follow? if he truly felt in danger, WHY DID HE NOT SHOOT IMMEDIATELY to neutralize the situation instead of following Castillo down a hallway and into ANOTHER room?

      Once again, “suicide by cop”.

      • Stan d. Upnow December 11, 2021, 10:18 am

        I don’t know what the description of events is based on, since the body cam & audio revealed very little. There are a LOT of open questions regarding the officer’s actions here. But, you seem to be filling-in the blanks with your own assumptions without facts.
        Sure wouldn’t want you on a jury if I were on trial!

  • Leo December 10, 2021, 6:19 am

    Very unfortunate but not sure if the deputy can called “self defense” while inside the house uninvited. Intentions or motives are irrelevant in this case because we will never know the old men’s, assuming he acted as if the deputy was invading his home. Sad, very sad for the outcome.

  • Kk December 10, 2021, 4:47 am

    Wellness check my ass..lots of people die every year due to these damn “wellness checks”..Never, Ever invite armed ,untrained blood-thirsty thugs to check on a loved one…if your lucky.very lucky ,they’ll only shoot the family dog

    • D.J. December 14, 2021, 10:28 am

      Kk sounds quite bitter & paranoid .

      Not certain what his situation is , but , man !

  • Therapist December 10, 2021, 2:38 am

    She failed to obey his orders to get off his property, this is murder.

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