Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Florida fired a newly hired patrol deputy on Thursday after a Snapchat photo he posted revealed he bragged about almost shooting someone.
Deputy Austen Callus, 23, posted a photo of himself on June 25 with the caption,"Nothing like almost shooting someone to set your head right lol. God I gate people with knives." Callus probably meant to use the word “hate” instead of "gate.”
Sheriff Gualtieri said Thursday the photo causes concern about Callus’s ability to keep his personal feelings out of his job.
"If you make that kind of a statement … you're not going to be employed here as a deputy sheriff because it calls into question your thoughts, your motives," Gualtieri told the Tampa Bay Times. "And certainly leaves the deputy and the agency in a very bad situation if something were to happen in the future."
The Sheriff's Office became aware of the photo when a friend of Callus reported it to the department and someone else shared it to Facebook.
"This is the kind of cop Pinellas county sheriff's office hires?" wrote one Facebook user, Joseph Ashley Wood, in a post sharing the photo. "Someone who wants to shoot someone just to get his head right?"
As the photo circulated on social media, Callus never said anything to ease Gualtieri's concern.
"So we can't have somebody as a deputy who makes that kind of a statement … when he's going through all this personal turmoil that's going on," Gualtieri said.
The incident Callus referred to in his post was a domestic violence call in which someone had a knife, Gualtieri added.
Callus, who was hired in November and finished field training in May, was placed on administrative leave Wednesday. The deputy was officially terminated on Thursday.
(Photo: Getty Images)