LITHIA, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting death of a 15-year-old boy inside a Tampa Police Department officer's home.

  • Deputies investigating shooting death of 15-year-old
  • Police officer was not home, is not related to victim
  • So far, no charges have been filed

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday, a teenager called 911 to report another teen had been shot inside a home on Bridgewater Drive.

"When deputies arrived on scene about five minutes later, they found a teenager with a gunshot wound to the upper body. EMS was immediately summoned to the scene and transported him to the hospital, but unfortunately he passed away," said Captain Preston Hollis.

The police officer was working at the time of the incident and no other adults were home.

The victim is not related to the officer and investigators aren't saying whether a service weapon was involved.

Deputies are interviewing witnesses to find out how the shooting occurred and how the teens got a hold of the gun.

"The incident is devastating and as a father, I grieve with the parents who won't get to hug their son tonight, as well as the law enforcement officer and his family who live in the home where this tragedy occurred," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a written statement.

They said it's a tragic reminder about the importance of gun safety.

"Usually you don't want to assume anything but with guns you always want to assume they're loaded. Always," said Captain Hollis.

"As we enter the holiday season and more people have young visitors in their homes, please take this time to make sure your firearms are properly secured, ensure that they are not loaded, and most importantly, teach young people that guns are not toys," added Sheriff Chronister.

So far no charges have been filed.

The Tampa Police Department issued a statement that said: "Chief Dugan has been in contact with Sheriff Chronister regarding the active investigation of a shooting at the home of a Tampa Police Officer."

They said the officer is an 11-year veteran of the department and that to ensure the integrity of the investigation, all questions should be directed to the sheriff's office.