Last Updated: Friday, 1:46 p.m.
For nearly five hours today it had looked like a stand-off at 9 Pheasant Drive. Numerous Flagler County Sheriff’s units were arrayed around the house, including members of the SWAT team. Flagler County Fire Rescue and Palm Coast Fire Department personnel were called in.
The sheriff’s office had gotten word this morning that Federico Guevara Jr., the 52-year-old homeowner in the house, wanted to kill himself.
According to a sheriff’s incident report released Friday morning, Guevara himself had called 911 “advising that cops were blocking the roadway and that he wanted a Deputy to call him. The communications division advised the Federico refused to answer any addition questions and hung up.” The 911 center then got a call from Guevara’s ex-wife saying he’d told her he was going to kill himself. The woman then told police that while on the phone with Guevara she heard a “pop” and the line went out.
Deputies tried repeatedly to make contact with Guevara. They only got silence in return. A friend of his who’d spoken to him recently, and knew Guevara to be depressed over the loss of his wife two months ago, tried to call and text him. There was no response.
“They were calling him, they were knocking, they were making announcements,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said of the deputies. The sheriff’s office had first been dispatched at 10:22 a.m.
Guevara, a government contractor who installed high-tech surveillance equipment, was known to be heavily armed, with numerous surveillance cameras pointing outwards, and numerous cameras inside as well. The property was usually brightly lit at night, to aid better visibility for the surveillance cameras.
Shortly before three o’clock, deputies sent in a motorized robot. Guevara inside was dead, an apparent suicide by gunshot. He was found in a closet in the master bedroom. A medic pronounced him dead at 2:53 p.m.
A neighbor and friend who’d spoken to Guevara just two weeks ago recalls him being “angry with God.” He’d woken up only two months before to find his wife, Lorraine, dead of a heart attack overnight. She’d shown no overt symptoms of having had medical issues. He was depressed, but he assured his friend that he had no suicidal thoughts. The friend knew him to have a very large arsenal, including assault rifles.
Guevara had bought the house on Pheasant Drive in late 2017, but was trying to sell it and move to a house in Ormond Beach, according to his friend. “He was always willing to help out everybody,” his friend said. “You know how you’ll say he’ll give you the shirt off his back? That’s how he was.”
Palm Coast’s Engine 25, Flagler County’s Rescue 92 and a unit from the Flagler Beach Police Department were among those who’d responded to the scene. (An earlier version of this story misidentified the unit as from Bunnell.) As is routine in such instances, the scene was to be turned into a crime scene and turned over to sheriff’s detectives, and the body removed by the medical examiner for an autopsy in St. Augustine.