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Tampa Bay Honors Service of Deputy Killed in Murder-Suicide

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Hillsborough County is honoring the life and service of a deputy shot and killed over the weekend. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office held a vehicle procession for Deputy Abigail Bieber before a private funeral service Wednesday afternoon. The motorcade had a specific destination: to the HCSO District III office on Gunn Highway where Deputy Bieber was assigned during her four years with the sheriff's office.

Community members and neighboring agencies stood silent Wednesday afternoon to honor the life of Hillsborough County Deputy Abigail Bieber.

The 30-year-old deputy worked with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office since February of 2018. Officers say she was fatally shot Saturday by fellow Deputy Detective Daniel Leyden at a vacation rental home in St. Augustine.

"Heartbroken as Sheriff…. when you lose a member of the sheriff's office, regardless of the circumstance, a piece of you dies along with them," said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

According to the investigation, the deputies were in a romantic relationship and were heard arguing in a bedroom Saturday by fellow deputies on vacation with them. Then, there were gunshots. Both deputies were discovered with fatal gunshot wounds. Investigators say it appears to have been a murder-suicide.

"I think everybody's heart was just breaking for her, for the loss to our community. It's a tragedy that shouldn't happen ever and unfortunately it happens way too frequently," said Mindy Murphy, President/CEO of The Spring of Tampa Bay.

The sheriff's office motor unit escorted Deputy Bieber back home Wednesday from St. Augustine to Clearwater. Deputy Bieber's squad mates and fellow HCSO members lined the roadway to pay their respects along with the community. The motorcade traveled from Gunn Highway to Clearwater where the undisclosed funeral home is located.

"She was a rising star. You've heard it, she was a bright light. She was always took the most difficult of calls. A hard charger. Someone that they would call whenever there was an investigation involving a child," said Sheriff Chronister.

Murphy says domestic violence doesn't discriminate.

"It can happen to anyone. It can happen to strong, courageous women who are serving our community, like Deputy Bieber," said Murphy.

Co-workers describe Deputy Bieber as a young woman with a positive attitude who never shied away from tough investigations. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's office says Deputy Bieber was an advocate for child victims and aspired to become a detective in the Criminal Investigations Division Special Victims section.

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