FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Broward Sheriff's Office sergeant arrested on child pornography charges has died after shooting himself upon being released from jail, BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said.
Sgt. Kreg Costa was released on bond Wednesday and shot himself in the head at his Sunrise home, Sheriff Scott Israel told Local 10 News.
"Send Sunrise PD to the side yard," Costa said in a 911 call obtained by Local 10 News before hanging up the phone.
The sergeant was taken to Broward Health Medical Center. Coleman-Wright said he was pronounced dead at the hospital at 11:27 p.m.
Costa was arrested last week on more than two dozen child porn and illicit sexual conduct charges. His bond was set at $250,000, but he wasn't released until Wednesday.
Israel said an investigation began in April after staff at the BSO's Weston district, where Costa works as a road patrol supervisor, noticed that he was staying in his office during his night shift with the lights turned off and his uniform belt and gun removed.
BSO detectives requested a computer usage report of Costa's work-issued laptop from January to March. It revealed that Costa was accessing hardcore pornography, incest-related and bondage websites while he was at work, BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said.
Detectives began monitoring Costa's internet activity and determined that he was engaging in sexually explicit exchanges with a 16-year-old girl via email, Twitter and video, Coleman-Wright said. She said Costa told the California teenager to record herself while she engaged in sex acts.
The girl told investigators that she first started communicating with Costa, whom she knew by his Twitter handle @CallMeSir34, when she was 15.
Israel went to check on Costa at the hospital Wednesday night and meet with Costa's wife. He said despite the charges and his stern words after Costa's arrest, he felt it necessary to be there for Costa's family.
"Whether I was in an adversarial role or not, it's my job and my responsibility to check on his wife," Israel said. "You know, this woman is a victim. She did nothing wrong."
Israel said he was disappointed to learn of Costa's decision to end his life.
"I spoke to his wife, and we just pray for the family and him," Israel said. "It's just a tragedy all the way around."
Neighbors stood in shock behind yellow tape outside Costa's home as Sunrise police investigated the shooting.
"I was sad for the family," neighbor Devin Debroka said. "I read that he has five children, you know, from the ages from 1 to 12."