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Crime News Breaking News

Florida Woman Allegedly Shot, Killed Her Uncle During Family Gathering

Sammantha Driggers allegedly told police she shot her uncle, Michael Driggers, because he was going to hurt her grandmother. Other family members say Michael Driggers was watching TV at the time.

By Christina Coulter
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

A Florida woman has been arrested after allegedly shooting her uncle in the head during a family party.

Sammantha Danielle Driggers, 20, was charged with second-degree murder on Thursday and remains in a Citrus County in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to WTSP. She is scheduled to appear in Citrus County Circuit Court before Judge Joel D. Fitton on Jan. 24. 

Citrus County Sheriff's Department officers were called about a shooting on North Columbus Street in Beverly Hills, Florida — a small town about 80 miles north of Tampa — around 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 2. 

Police encountered Driggers outside the home when they arrived. Without being asked, she allegedly stated, "I shot Matt in the head," police wrote in an arrest affidavit reviewed by Oxygen.com. Officers said she then stated that she thought her Uncle Matt was going to hurt her grandmother. After she was read her Miranda Rights, police said, Driggers stopped talking. 

A police handout of Sammantha Driggers

Officers then found the body of Matthew Charles Driggers, 44, in the home's living room with a single gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police documents. 

Irvanna Driggers, a family member who witnessed the shooting, allegedly told police that the family gathering hadn't been tense before the shooting  — no one argued or fought for approximately an hour, she said. She added that she had been working on a puzzle at a table while Matthew was watching TV and Samantha was down the hall in a different room. 

"Suddenly [Irvanna] heard the victim state, 'No' and 'Stop,' as she turned and observed the defendant with a firearm pointed at the victim," read the affidavit. 

"[Irvanna] stepped between the suspect and victim and tried to calm the defendant down," police added. "The defendant reached around [Irvanna] with the firearm and shot the victim in the head. [Irvanna] immediately called 911 and began rendering aid to the victim."

A neighbor also allegedly told investigators that, after they heard the gunshots, she saw Sammantha outside of the home with a firearm in her hand. She told police she watched Sammantha walk up and then back down the street, ultimately returning to the house and tossing the gun into the family's trashcan. The neighbor told police they took the firearm from the trashcan and kept it on their own front porch until deputies arrived.  

Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast wrote in a news release that his department considers the crime one of domestic violence and takes such instances seriously. 

"This act of violence has shocked our community and will affect this family forever," he wrote. "Our office works diligently alongside our community partners to help educate citizens on the signs to look for regarding domestic violence."