Saint Petersburg, FL

Sheriff: A man from St. Pete was shot after making threats and brandishing a pistol at an officer.


PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida: Detectives from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office are looking into an officer-involved shooting in the city of St. Petersburg.
The suspect was fatally shot, according to Pinellas County Sheriff's authorities.Photo byPinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Early Sunday morning, St. Petersburg Police officers responded to a complaint of a hit-and-run at 13th Avenue N and 50th Street N. According to investigators, the suspect's vehicle's bumper was left at the scene with the license plate still attached. The registered address was returned when authorities ran the license plate.

Officers attempted to reach the house many times, according to authorities. After numerous futile efforts, the cops met with the vehicle's registered owner, Mary Spanoudis, who now lives in a nearby nursing facility. According to detectives, Mary showed worry for the well-being of her 63-year-old son, Gus Spanoudis. Officers pushed their way inside the house later that morning. Spanoudis was in the rear bedroom when I arrived.

According to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, things swiftly escalated."As (the officer) moves back and forth between the two individuals, Spandoudis pulls out a revolver," he explained. "He had it somewhere, either tucked down in the chair or somewhere, and he pulled up the pistol and pointed it at Officer (Jace) Morrow."Spanoudis, according to authorities, made suicide remarks and brandished a weapon at Officer Morrow. Officer Morrow made multiple demands to Spanoudis to lower the handgun before shooting at him.

Judy Sieburg, who lives in an adjacent unit, overheard what occurred next. "'Drop the gun,' we heard. Drop the weapon. "Put down the pistol," she urged. "Then we heard around 5 or 6 gunfire."

Gus' mother's concern for his well-being, along with information from neighbors who knew him, suggest that he had both physical and mental impairments."Gus has issues," Sieburg explained, "and he has a young man assisting him." And I saw him a lot moving him around in a wheelchair."

Spanoudis was brought to a nearby hospital and declared dead. The next of kin have been contacted. Officer Morrow will be placed on administrative leave, per department procedure. The event was captured on body camera footage, and the inquiry is ongoing.

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