From the News Chief of April 14, 2009
Wife shoots husband in self-defense, Winter Haven police say
A local woman's act of self-defense might have saved her life and the lives of four family members, the Winter Haven Police Department reported.
According to police, a Winter Haven man who threatened early Tuesday to shoot and kill members of his family instead was shot by his wife.
The man, 34-year-old Troy A. Christoff, was treated for multiple gunshot wounds at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, according to a police report. He was charged with five counts of attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and, after being released from the hospital under police custody, was booked without bond into the Polk County Jail in Bartow.
According to the report, Winter Haven police responded around 4 a.m. Tuesday to a reported shooting at 1121 Seventh St., S.W., the home of Troy and Dawn Christoff. When they arrived, police discovered that Troy Christoff had been shot multiple times with a 9mm handgun. The shooter was identified as his wife, 35-year-old Dawn Christoff.
Witness statements and an examination of physical evidence indicate that Troy Christoff intended to shoot several members of his family who lived with him, according to the police report. Prior to the shooting, he had armed himself with a handgun and begun to load the weapon, stating which member of his family each bullet was intended for.
When the handgun was loaded, Troy Christoff raised the weapon and pointed it at his wife, according to the report. The wife, who had armed herself with another handgun to protect herself and other family members, fired multiple shots at her husband, striking him several times.
Troy Christoff was airlifted to the Lakeland hospital to be treated for his gunshot wounds.
According to Polk County Jail records, Troy Christoff has been arrested on four previous occasions going back to July 2004. Past charges included battery, disorderly intoxication, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of methamphetamine, possession of cannabis, driving under the influence and violation of parole.
Police considered the shooting to be an act of self-defense, but detectives are still investigating, according to the report. Anyone with information to add is asked to call Detective Steve Rusich at 863-291-5304.