Pasco Fire Captain Arrested Following Standoff

Several shots were fired during the incident.

Pasco County Fire Rescue Capt. Louis Herrero has been identified as the man who barricaded himself in a Sierra Pines home in Lutz Tuesday afternoon and engaged in a standoff with Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies.

Herrero, 46, was arrested Tuesday night and accused of pointing a shotgun at deputies, the sheriff’s office announced Wednesday. Both sheriff’s deputies and fire rescue workers responded to the scene.

On Tuesday afternoon, the sheriff’s office got a call from fire rescue that Herrero was having chest pains and threatening to harm himself, said Doug Tobin, sheriff's office spokesman.

A colleague of Herrero’s had been at the residence and said that Herrero appeared to be “intoxicated” and told the colleague that someone was “after” him, Tobin said.

Herrero, who works at Station 23 in Land O’ Lakes, reportedly had a firearm pointed at the ceiling at some point prior to the deputies' arrival, according to an arrest report.

The Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team arrived at the home around 4:14 p.m. and the authorities announced shortly afterward that a man had “barricaded” himself in the home.  

The agency’s armored SWAT vehicle arrived outside the home and deputies tried to talk Herrero out of the house. 

A school bus was diverted in order to keep the children out of the area. Residents were forced to turn around at the barricade and find alternate routes to their homes while the situation was developing.

Around 6:30 p.m., Herrero walked out of his home with a shotgun. He reportedly pointed it at deputies standing in the road.

Herrero didn’t fire, according to the report. A deputy fired his gun thrice at Herrero, but the bullets missed him. Nobody was injured, and Herrero returned inside the house.

At 6:40 p.m., the SWAT Team fired tear gas into the house, Tobin said. A garage door was opened around 6:50 p.m. Herrero was apprehended using “non-lethal” tactics five minutes later, Tobin said.

“Fortunately, nobody got hurt,” Tobin said.

Herrero was charged with eight counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm. He was in custody Wednesday.

Last year, Herrero for a profile. He told Patch he had a wife and three children and that he was from Masaryktown. He said saving lives and property was his favorite part of the job.

Joseph Karma December 14, 2011 at 11:16 PM
What a shame, This guy has needed help for years and the Pasco County Fire Administration has know this for years, Yes Chief Michael Gordon has had numerous opportunities to deal with him and his erratic behavior but consistently chalked it up to ohh tht is just his way, or made excuses for failing to deal with Herreros narcissistic personality, rudeness towards others he comes into contact with at the job, etc . So many people filed verbal and written complaints against this man and never once did Chief Anthony Lopinto decide to send him to Employee counseling or theraphy, Chief Cynthia Holland who has no formal secondary education is now the Assistant Chief of the agency and clearly should have handled this man while she was the Personnel Chief. She is another person who is part of the good old boy system and sadly is next in line when Lopinto leaves for retirement next year, Wake up County Commission and fix the Fire--Rescue administration issues before it is too late. Next to snap is Fire Rescue Dispatch Supervisor Janae Barthle who has numerous verbal and written complaints for her verbally abusive and physical assaults against co-workers and who investigated it and did nothing Cynthia Holland and Chief Michael Gordon, Ask them for her file and demand to know why nothing has ever been done excpet protect the people with the money in this County. Dirty Rotten Shame this man now has to go to prison after needing help for years........
fl2011 December 16, 2011 at 03:02 PM
I'll go ahead and say this is probably someone who used to work in dispatch and is now a fire inspector with pasco county who has some pretty big balls to run her mouth about what happend or what someone else knew ,since she has never seen or done what my good friend louie herrero has been through in his 26 years serving the citizens of this county, stop acting like you give a damn because i havent seen your dam face once just little comments here and there so leave it to the PROFESSIONALS and the true brotherhood ive seen in the last few days has been amazing and you keep pushing those papers sweetheart slandering peoples name is a big time deal and to call out barthle also wow! if this is you quit hiding if im wrong then say who you are! Mike Suarez <----------------------------
Todd Mac December 18, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Yes! Louise Herrero made a mistake while he was intoxicated and having a mental breakdown.  He has spent the last 25years of his life helping his community as a firefighter.  He walked away from a football scholarship at Sterling College in Kansas in order to be a firefighter to serve the citizens of Pasco County.  The job that these individuals firefighters and Police Officers is one of the most stressful jobs that I could imagine (firefighters are required to work 24hr shift and must be ready at any given time to respond to all sorts of unknown emergency calls that come in, suicide attempts, domestic violence, car accidents, having to run into burning buildings to save people's lives, remove victims from auto accidents while they watch them die before their very eye's and all the time second guessing themselves if they could have somehow saved the man,woman, or child.). They have to deal with the strain that spending 24hr blocks of time away from their wives and children causes and the trust they must have that their spouse is being faithful to them knowing that they are stuck at their job and can't pop in on them during that time they are at the station.   All this in a time that 50% of marriages in the US  end in divorce, I would not be surprised that for Firefighters it is more like 75-90%.
Todd Mac December 18, 2011 at 07:14 PM
What I have not seen  in any  articles is the fact that Louise Herrero was injured on the job some years back (head injury that was very devastating at the time, his family and friends did not know if he would ever be the same person they grew up with) .  In my eye's Louise is as close to a hero in this community, and if the time comes that me or my family are in a life threatening situation  I hope and prey that he is the Captain in charge at the Fire Station at the time.
Todd Mac December 18, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Joseph Karma should stop hiding and slandering! Let's kick Louise Herrero like a coward! That this individual is! Todd Mac
Todd Mac December 18, 2011 at 07:22 PM
What a shame to beat down a firefighter at a time that the new Gov. Just screwed them to death. Todd Mac
Denise Sputo- McIntosh December 19, 2011 at 12:52 AM
We as a community should support and not criticize! Mr Herrero was there when so many were happy to have him show up for thier crisis. He has been dedicated servant of his community for most of his adult life. It takes a special selfless individual to become a firefighter and how many put thier own lives on the line day to day. It is inexcusable to not fell compassion and extend all hands to him and his family at this time.
Denise Sputo- McIntosh December 19, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Shame on you Mr Karma.... Watch out for karma it could kick you in the butt!
Walter H. December 19, 2011 at 02:04 AM
Karma, just another coward hiding behind an alias. Perhaps you should look up the definition of your name. Let me help you. kar•ma (kär m ) n. 1. Hinduism & Buddhism The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny. 2. Fate; destiny. Perhaps you should reconsider what you type. Before a big Karma cow takes a dump on your head.
Walter H. December 19, 2011 at 02:13 AM
Karma - Your redemption (for this only): March yourself right down to Chief Lopinto’s office tomorrow morning and share your concerns face to face.
Janea M. Barthle December 19, 2011 at 09:10 PM
To Mr. Karma: While I find the fact that you are using this family's tragedy to further your agenda of hate and discontent, frankly quite pathetic, I would say to you, if you feel the need to call me out or believe that I am on the edge of snapping, then man up and say something to my face, have the intestinal fortitude to use your real name or at least at a minimum SPELL MY NAME CORRECTLY, sincerely Janea M. Barthle


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