SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — A man from Illinois called the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office early Saturday, saying his friend had just called and told him he shot his mother to death, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
It wouldn't be long before deputies arrived at the apartment 35-year-old John Clark shared with his mother, Susan, in the area of Baldwin Avenue and Flanders Way in Safety Harbor. Initially, a neighbor heard what sounded like a gunshot at 1:30 a.m. but didn't call 911, Gualtieri said.
It was about an hour later when John Clark's friend in Illinois called law enforcement. John Clark reportedly said he didn't want to go to jail.
Deputies entered the home and found 64-year-old Susan Clark on the floor, wrapped in blankets. Her son was not home, though it was believed he still was in the area based on cell phone pings.
At about 4:20 a.m. or so, Gualtieri said deputies working their investigation outside noticed Susan's Clark car approaching with John at the wheel. Three deputies, in particular, ordered him to stop and, upon noticing a 12-gauge shotgun in his lap, ordered him to put the gun away.
At one point John Clark took the shotgun and pointed it out the passenger side window where deputies were standing, prompting the three deputies to shoot him, Gualtieri said.
John Clark was taken to a Tampa hospital, where he died from his injuries.
No deputies were hurt.
The man had a history of mental illness but no criminal record of note, Gualtieri said.
The deputies -- Brian Williams, Brennen Wede and Chris Amatruda -- were placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation, the sheriff added.
What other people are reading right now:
- One year later: Woman to stand trial for allegedly leaving her daughter to drown in river
- Convicted child molester killed in Florida jail, convicted murderer charged in fatal beating
- Worker scratching his crotch led to restaurant's temporary closure, health inspectors say
- No more Fridays: Texas district adopting 4-day school week
- Guests and employees frustrated after parking lot floods at the Vinoy Resort
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now.