PALM HARBOR, Fla (WFLA) — One man is dead following a deputy involved shooting in Pinellas County Thursday evening.
Deputies responded to the home at 252 Whisper Lake Road in Palm Harbor after getting a call about a man in the front yard with a weapon.
When authorities arrived, 55-year old Stanley Eversol had retreated inside the home. He came out a back door, still armed with a crossbow. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri reports, when he raised the weapon at the deputies, two other deputies who were monitoring the situation with rifles opened fire.
Gualtieri said the two involved, Deputy Brian Sudbrink and Corporal Casey Hunter had no choice.
“That’s one of those things, where before you act and you shoot .. You don’t wait for him to shoot. It’s too late at that point,” said Gualtieri. “You wait for him to act, you wait for him to shoot and deputies are going to be dead, and we can’t have that. ”
People who live in the area were milling about. Gunfire in this normally quiet single family neighborhood is not the norm.
Randy Butcher is retired from Michigan and lives nearby. He came to see what all of the commotion was about.
“It was just, I knew it wasn’t fireworks,” said Butcher. “It was just like boom, boom, boom boom. Five at the most. Sounded like shots.”
Sheriff Gualtieri told reporters it appears this all started over a free trip to Europe.
Eversol’s girlfriend, Lora Richter, won a trip and when she announced to him she planned to take a girlfriend rather than him, he became enraged.
“He apparently in the last day or so became extremely upset about that,” said Gualtieri. “He owns a crossbow and he threatened her with the crossbow several times over the last day or two. ”
The sheriff reports Richter didn’t contact authorities sooner because Eversol threatened to kill any law enforcement officer who responded to the home.
As for the deputies involved, they are on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
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