An investigation into suspicious materials in New Port Richey that led to an attack on two Pasco County deputies Thursday may be investigated as terror-related.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco spoke about the situation on Thursday morning, calling the suspect, 21-year-old Sherif Elganainy “a dangerous person.”
Elganainy was taken into custody Wednesday after deputies said they found suspicious materials in his bedroom.
Nocco has asked for help from several other agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to see whether the incident is terror-related.
Pasco County Fire Rescue was called to Mahmoud Elganainy's home in Carissa Lane in the Summertree subdivision around 6:20 a.m. over a report of an unresponsive elderly man.
Mahmoud Elganainy's wife contacted authorities about fumes that may have led to his collapse. He was taken to a hospital.
When deputies arrived, officials said they saw suspicious materials in the bedroom of the couple’s son, Sherif Elganainy, 21.
When deputies tried to take Elganainy into custody, officials said he attacked the deputies, causing a violent fight to break out.
“During this incident, he (Sherif Elganainy) tries to grab the gun and unholster the gun from the deputies, tries to pull it out,” Nocco said. “They're fighting for their lives in this situation. He (Sherif Elganainy) is an individual who has shown violence in the past and is showing violence toward law enforcement now.
“I keep reiterating...(this is) a dangerous person. Who knows what his motive would have been once he got the gun.”
One of the deputies incurred a broken bone in his hand and another deputy received a blow to the head before the suspect was subdued.
Nocco says information and evidence they've received so far gives them reason to be concerned.
“We’re going to keep digging. We’re going to keep finding out,” Nocco said. “We’ll see if anyone else was involved who else may have known him. We’re going to keep working this investigation. We have citizens' lives at risk.”
Charges are pending against Elganainy, including two domestic batteries — for pushing his parents Wednesday morning — resisting arrest with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.