29-year-old suffering with mental health issues killed while allegedly trying to break into neighbor’s home

Sarasota resident had fled his home just before deputies arrived in response to call about medical issues

An aerial map shows the location of the 4100 block of 47th Street in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

A 29-year-old Sarasota resident whose family members said he recently had experienced mental health issues was shot and killed late on the night of June 1 after he allegedly tried to break into a home, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

At 11:04 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1, Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputies were called to 4180 47th St. in Sarasota to assist county Fire Department personnel “with a medical call regarding 29-year-old Aaron Pischer,” Kaitlyn R. Perez, the Sheriff’s Office’s community affairs director, wrote in a news release.

On Tuesday, she noted, Pischer “appeared disoriented, which led his family to dial 911. Pischer fled his home just moments prior to deputies’ arrival.”

As deputies were attempting to locate Pischer, Perez added, the Public Safety Communications Center received a report at 11:17 p.m. of a shooting at a home less than half-a-mile away from Pischer’s residence. “The victim dialed 911 after Pischer attempted to break into his home,” Perez wrote, and the victim reportedly shot Pischer in self-defense.

“The victim in this case has opted into privacy rights afforded by Marsy’s Law,” she noted. Therefore, “his identity is confidential at this time.”

The investigation is continuing, Perez added.

In a search of 12th Judicial Circuit Court records, The Sarasota News Leader found two prior cases in which Pischer was charged.

In one, which occurred on May 21, 2018, the official report said that Pischer was charged with Petit Theft.

The narrative explained that the investigating deputy responded to the Wawa located at 5208 University Parkway in regard to a report about a person shoplifting a doughnut and coffee.

With the store manager having provided a description, the report continued, the deputy spotted a person who was wearing clothes of the same colors. The deputy detained the suspect, who was identified as Pischer.

This is the Wawa on University Parkway. Image from the store website

The store manager told the deputy she had seen Pischer take the food and leave the store without paying for the items. As a result, she said she wanted to prosecute him.

Pischer pleaded not guilty to the charge, court records show, and he demanded a jury trial.

A trial date was set for Sept. 5, 2018, court records note. However, on July 18, 2018, Circuit Court Judge David L. Denkin issued an order finding that Pischer was incompetent to proceed to trial. That document added that both the state and defense attorneys had agreed that the court should consider a report written by an expert “in lieu of live testimony.”

Finally, on Dec. 19, 2018, a representative of the State Attorney’s Office for the 12th Judicial Circuit informed the court that the office declined to proceed with the case, a court document says. The assistant state attorney also told Denkin that Pischer was in a Centerstone facility.

On its website, Centerstone says it provides “a full range of mental health and substance use disorder services.”

Judge David Denkin. Image from the 12th Judicial Circuit website

Therefore, Denkin ordered Pischer released on his own recognizance, which meant Pischer did not have to pay bail but he would need to appear at any future court proceeding in the case.

No further entries appeared in the case docket.

In the second case that the News Leader found in court records, Pischer, who was then 23, was charged on March 15, 2015 with a misdemeanor count of Trespass After Warning.

The narrative in that Sheriff’s Office report said that a deputy had issued Pischer a trespass warning for the location on Aug. 15, 2014.

The victim in the March 2015 case reported that Pischer “was pacing in her driveway” that day, but he left as soon as she called 911.

The responding deputy wrote that he talked with both Pischer and Pischer’s father at their 47th Street residence about the incident. “The defendant barely spoke, other than an occasional ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer,” the deputy added. “The defendant appeared to have some type of mental or developmental issues but did acknowledge that he was not supposed to be on the property [from which the victim called 911].”

The deputy also noted that the victim and Pischer were acquaintances, as they lived across the street from each other.

Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office records show that the Pischer family has owned its 47th Street home since October 1992.

That case was dismissed.

County Court Judge Phyllis R. Galen wrote in an order dated Aug. 25, 2016 that, “based on the evidence presented, the Court finds that there is no substantial probability that the Defendant will become mentally competent to proceed in this cause in the foreseeable future.”

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