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Neighbor calls police on hockey fans screaming ‘shoot’

A Tampa Bay Lightning fan was surprised when police showed up on his doorstep, but said the misunderstanding ultimately ended in good humor


In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) breaks up a pass intended for Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Tampa, Fla.

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File

By Joey Knight
Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. — A misunderstanding over a few Lightning fans’ passion for their team during the Stanley Cup final Wednesday night produced a scene in Tampa rife with cops and, in the end, comic relief.

Devon Garnett, a bay area super fan of sorts recently profiled by the Tampa Bay Times, was watching Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday evening with two buddies at Radius Palms apartments near USF. In one first-period sequence, when Victor Hedman controlled the puck in the Lightning’s offensive zone, the friends began screaming, “Shoot! Shoot!” at the TV.

Evidently, that prompted a neighbor to call police. Minutes later, a handful of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies were at their doorstep.

“So they came to the door and thought there were guns in the house,” said Garnett, 26. “We’re like, ‘Nope, we’re just screaming for Steven Stamkos.’”

Sheriff’s office spokesperson Natalia Verdina confirmed Thursday morning that deputies were dispatched to the complex at 8:24 p.m. Wednesday. The caller said they heard someone yelling loudly in the apartment above.

“Four deputies responded and discovered there were no domestic problems at the apartment in question,” Verdina said in an e-mail. “It was a roommate screaming at the TV in regards to a Lightning game.”

With that, the cops went on their way, Garnett said.

And he and his pals (who didn’t wish to be identified) had a misunderstanding to pass along to posterity.

“(The police) completely understood and just laughed it off,” said Garnett, a Clearwater Central Catholic alumnus who played football for the Marauders. “But they thought it was serious because I was screaming ‘Shoot!’ as in ‘Shoot the puck.’”

©2020 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.)