Deputy fired over social media post

A sheriff’s deputy in Florida has been fired after posting on social media about almost shooting someone, officials said.

Austen Callus, 23, was initially put on administrative leave from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office after a photo he posted to Snapchat, which included a caption about firing his weapon, made its way back to the department, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

“Nothing like almost shooting someone to set your head right lol,” Callus wrote on the picture of himself in a plain blue shirt. “God I gate [sic] people with knives.”

On Sunday, Callus was sent to a “family trouble” incident in Dunedin, where it had been reported that one person was armed with a knife.

But the reports of a knife-wielding person were unfounded and the situation was handled, Gualtieri said. Later that day, Callus reportedly posted the troublesome photo to Snapchat.

News of the photo left fellow social media users outraged and questioning who their local law enforcement had hired.

"That's not what we are about that's not what we do," Gaultieri said.

The sheriff’s office received a complaint about the photo Tuesday, placed Callus on administrative leave Wednesday and ultimately terminated him Thursday, Gualtieri said.

“When somebody makes that kind of a statement after going to a call and you see the quote is, ‘Nothing like almost shooting someone to set your head right lol.' You know, there’s a couple things in there that are very troubling, but not the least of which is the ‘lol’ or laughing out loud at the end,” he told reporters on Thursday. “That, to me, is telling. That’s an indicator."


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