Homicide suspect, girlfriend dead after Gibsonton standoff
GIBSTONTON - Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee knew the standoff with a homicide suspect wasn't going to end peacefully. "He was very antagonistic towards the deputies," Gee said Thursday afternoon about the standoff with James Seagraves, who was the suspect in a Deland killing. "And we had the anticipation that we were going to have a confrontation with him." His instincts were right. After a four-hour standoff – the pair did not respond to sheriff's negotiators for the last 2 ½ hours _ the SWAT team entered the home and found the bodies of Seagraves, 29, and his girlfriend Kayla Nemoto, 20, in the mobile home's bathroom. Sheriff's deputies and the U.S. Marshals Service responded to the mobile home Thursday afternoon to serve a murder warrant. The standoff ended around 4:45 p.m.Deputies did not fire weapons into the building during the confrontation, but they did deploy tear gas and had to wait to ventilate it before entering the home. The standoff occurred at the home of Seagraves' father, the sheriff's office said. Neighbor Tim Chrissinger, who has lived in the area for 15 years with his family, knew Seagraves' parents. He called this afternoon's events "a shock." "They brought in the big thing with the big boom on it … and ran into the door and then they ran around back and into the back door." He said he was aware of James having troubles when he was a kid. "It's a shame. It really is a shame. I just can't believe that this took place, period. I just can't believe it." Seagraves allegedly entered the Main Street Grill in Deland and fatally shot manager Tom Walsh, 42, during an apparent robbery on March 31. Michael Pleus, Deland's city manager, expressed gratitude to law enforcement after hearing of Seagraves' death. "Forty days ago, this community was ravaged by this terrible tragedy, and today, we're taking our first step towards getting justice for the community of Deland, and we are grateful to the Deland police and their diligence." Photos on Nemoto and Seagraves' Facebook pages depict her as pregnant.