PINELLAS CO., Fla. - A Palm Harbor, Fla., man was shot dead in the front yard of his home after Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said he aimed a crossbow at two deputies.
The deputies were responding to a call that a man was outside the home at 252 Whisper Lake Rd. with a rifle.
Stanley Eversol, 55, was shot at least three times by Cpl. Casey Hunter and Deputy Brian Sudbrink.
Gualtieri said the incident started after Eversol became enraged a few days earlier that his girlfriend, Laura Richter, won a European vacation but decided she wanted to take another friend with her instead of him.
"He threatened her with the crossbow several times over the last day or two and told her if she called the police he was going to kill the cops that showed up," Gualtieri said.
Around 7 p.m. Thursday, Gualtieri said a friend of Richter called police when she went to the home at 252 Whisper Lake Rd. to check on Richter.
Richter wasn't home at the time, but the friend who went to check on her saw Eversol in the yard with what she thought was a rifle. Deputies quickly arrived and formed a defensive perimeter with officers taking cover with rifles.
"The distance at which the deputies were standing when pointed that crossbow at them was well within the distance of the crossbow," Gualtieri said. "We are lucky those deputies weren't shot with that crossbow. Bulletproof vests don't stop those arrows that come out of a crossbow."
Gualtieri said the crossbow was cocked and loaded as Eversol came out of the house.
"He abruptly exited and when he abruptly exited the house he turned and pointed the crossbow at those two deputies, they were at a vulnerable position," Gualtieri said. "They were in a position where they would've been shot by him had he pulled the trigger so the deputies across the street acted to prevent their fellow deputies from being shot with a crossbow."
Eversol does not have a criminal history. The two deputies are on paid administrative leave.
"You don't wait for him to shoot, it's too late at that point," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "If you wait for him to act, if you wait for him to shoot then deputies are gonna be dead, and we can't have that."