Florida woman fatally shoots uncle during holiday gathering

A 20-year-old Florida woman, Sammantha Danielle Driggers allegedly shot her uncle during a family holiday gathering. The investigators ultimately detained Sammantha on Thursday. She was later charged with one count of second-degree murder for killing her uncle.

According to authorities, Sammantha admitted to killing her uncle, Matthew Charles Driggers, by shooting him in the head.

An arrest affidavit revealed that the incident was reported to Citrus County Sheriff’s Office as per the report that the authorities received via 911 at 2:45 am on December 29, 2022. The police then came to the crime scene at a house located on North Columbus Street in Beverly Hills, Florida.

When they arrived, they found Matthew’s body lying on the floor, just in front of the living room of the house. Per investigation, the 44-year-old was shot to death with a single gunshot piercing the head.

One of the police suspected and detained Sammantha, as she was standing outside near the house. The arrest warrant revealed that she admitted to being her uncle’s killer when asked by investigators.

“The suspect was determined to be the defendant,” investigators wrote. “The suspect spontaneously stated, ‘I shot Matt in the head.’ She stated she thought Matt was going to hurt Grandma.”

An investigator, Sheriff Mike Prendergast, explained in an official statement about the shooting. He described the incident as a “holiday family gathering which turned deadly in an instant.”

“A family gathering to celebrate the holiday season should have been a time of happiness, but instead turned deadly in an instant,” Prendergast said.

Prendergast said that Sammantha’s deed has shocked the community and would affect Driggers’s family condition. He later expressed his condolences to the family.

“I am proud of the quick response of CCSO deputies and detectives that ensured this incident was isolated and the community was safe. Our thoughts go out to this family as they begin the long process of healing,” said Prendergast.

Sammantha was later released on a $500,000 bond but is required to wear a GPS device. She is scheduled to appear at trial before Judge Joel D. Fitton for her indictment in Citrus County Circuit Court on January 24.

Witnesses’ testimonies

After being arrested, Sammantha spoke about being suspicious that the victim was aiming to hurt her grandmother. The investigators turned to the witnesses for more details.

According to the affidavit, investigators interviewed a family member, Irvanna Driggers, who witnessed the incident. However, the police later found that Irvanna’s testimony did not match Sammantha’s.

Irvanna explained that she joined the holiday gathering and said that there was no one arguing or fighting inside the house. An hour before the tragic incident, she saw Matthew watching TV and Sammantha was in another room.

Irvanna revealed that she heard Matthew yelling while she was on solving a puzzle game. She explained that she heard the victim say “No” and “Stop.”

Then, she searched around the house and later found Sammantha pointing a gun at Matthew’s head, per the affidavit. Initially, Irvanna tried to intervene and calm both of them down.

“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,” said police.

In addition to Irvanna, an unnamed neighbor, simply identified as witness #2 within the affidavit, also shared her testimony with the investigators.

Not long after the incident, she witnessed Sammantha outside the house with her hand holding a gun. She said that Sammantha was running away from the house, walking up the street. She saw Sammantha throwing her gun into the trashcan before entering the house again.

As per reports, the neighbor picked up Sammantha’s gun from the trash and later gave it to the police.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is a law enforcement agency in Charlotte County, Florida, headquartered at 7474 Utilities Road, Punta Gorda, Florida. The current sheriff is Bill Prummell, (wikipedia)

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is the primary law enforcement agency for Hillsborough County, (wikipedia)