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Chief of Police
1301 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

(727) 893-7550


For Immediate Release
Report number: 2021-
Date of original release: 01-05-22

Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Taskforce Findings

Release posted on 01-05-22 at 12:21 p.m.

The Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Taskforce released its findings on the investigation of the officer involved shooting that occurred on October 20, 2021. The investigation concluded that Officer Leighton Williams' actions were lawful and proper under the circumstances.

The letter from Sheriff Bob Gualtieri to Chief Anthony Holloway.

On October 20, 2021, a witness called police after he saw Christopher Tonsel, DOB 2-8-2004, argue with a young woman and strike her. He also reported seeing a gun in Tonsel's pocket. When St. Petersburg Officers arrived, Tonsel ran into the neighborhood. St. Petersburg K9 Officer Leighton Williams saw Tonsel run behind a house. Officer Williams and his K9 ran after him and upon turning the corner to the back of the house, Officer Williams announced "Get on the ground. Let me see your hands. Put the gun down." Tonsel did not comply and Officer Williams fired one shot, injuring Tonsel. Tonsel has recovered from his injuries and is at the Pinellas County Jail facing numerous charges.

In the interest of transparency, a clip of the shooting from Officer Leighton's body camera can be seen by clicking on this link. It begins with a photo of the altercation with the young lady.

Body camera video

Now that the Taskforce completed its investigation, the St. Petersburg Department's Office of Professional Standards has begun an internal investigation to see if all Department policies and procedures were followed. Chief Holloway cannot comment on the case or the video until the OPS investigation is completed. The OPS investigation could take several weeks.

Any questions about the Taskforce findings should be directed to Sheriff Gualtieri.


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St. Petersburg Police Media Relations - (727) 893-7550
YOLANDA FERNANDEZ - Public Information Officer