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‘I Shot Matt in the Head’: Florida Woman Allegedly Killed Uncle After Family Holiday Party ‘Turned Deadly’

Sammantha Danielle Driggers (Citrus County Sheriff's Office)

Sammantha Danielle Driggers (Citrus County Sheriff’s Office)

A Florida woman is behind bars this week after she allegedly admitted to shooting her uncle in the head during a family holiday party. Sammantha Danielle Driggers was taken into custody on Thursday and charged with one count of second-degree murder for allegedly killing Matthew Charles Driggers, authorities announced.

According to a sworn affidavit of probable cause obtained by Law&Crime, at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 29, deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) responded to a 911 call in reference to a man being shot at a home located in the 10 block of North Columbus Street in Beverly Hills, a small town about 80 miles north of Tampa.

Upon arriving at the scene, first responders say they found the suspect — identified as Sammantha — still at the scene outside of the residence and immediately detained her. When questioned by a detective, Sammantha allegedly confessed to killing her uncle.

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

Inside the home, authorities found Matthew lying on the floor in front of the living room suffering from what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the head, the documents states. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Investigators interviewed a witness at the scene identified as Irvanna Driggers, though her relationship to Sammantha and Matthew was not specified. Based on the affidavit, Irvanna’s recollection of the events did not match up with what Sammantha told police.

Irvanna allegedly said she had been at the home for a holiday gathering for approximately an hour and no one had argued or fought at all. She told police she had been working on a puzzle at the table while Matthew was watching TV and and Sammantha was down the hall in a different room, per the affidavit.

“Suddenly [Irvanna] heard the victim state, “No” and “Stop,” as she turned and observed the defendant with a firearm pointed at the victim. [Irvanna] stepped between the suspect and victim and tried to calm the defendant 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.

Irvanna also allegedly clarified to authorities that Matthew was Sammantha’s uncle.

A neighbor told investigators that she saw Sammantha outside of the home following the shooting with a firearm in her hand, the affidavit states. The neighbor, identified as witness #2, said Sammantha exited the home and walked up the street then back to her home, tossing the firearm into their trashcan before entering the residence, per the affidavit. The witness allegedly took the firearm from the trash and brought it to their porch until it was secured by deputies.

“A family gathering to celebrate the holiday season should have been a time of happiness, but instead turned deadly in an instant,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said in a statement following the arrest. “This act of violence has shocked our community and will affect this family forever. 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.”

Sammantha Driggers is currently scheduled to appear before Judge Joel D. Fitton for her arraignment in Citrus County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. on Jan. 24.

[image via Citrus County Sheriff]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.