A Tampa Bay Lightning fan whom police called on for screaming “shoot!” at the television during the Stanley Cup Final is using the misunderstanding to help raise money for domestic violence organizations.
Devon Garnett, 26, was watching Wednesday’s Game 3 of the Lightning-Dallas Stars series at a friend’s third-floor apartment in Tampa, Forida. The three fans were energized after Lightning star Steven Stamkos, playing in what turned out to be his only game of the postseason due to injury, scored an early goal.
On an ensuing power play, a fired-up Garnett recalled watching Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman hold the puck for too long.
“I was yelling, ‘Shoot! Shoot!’ because sometimes we get too cute with the puck,” he said.
This prompted his neighbor downstairs to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, believing there was a domestic dispute involving a firearm. According to sheriff’s office spokesperson Natalia Verdina, four deputies were dispatched to the apartment at 8:24 p.m. after the call. When police showed up, Garnett said they asked where “the guns were” because they were told there was a domestic dispute.
The fans explained the misunderstanding, opening the apartment door wide to show that the game was on television and showing them that they were decked out in Lightning gear.
“My exact words [to them] were, ‘We’re just cheering for Steven Stamkos,'” Garnett said. “They completely understood. Didn’t give us a hard time at all. The whole interaction, from when my friend answered the door and realizing it was the cops to them leaving, was maybe two minutes.”
The story spread among Tampa media and soon went viral, to the point where the Lightning invited Garnett and his friends to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at a party inside Amalie Arena. Garnett, who works in