PALM HARBOR — What started out as a quarrel between a man jealous over his girlfriend's decision to not take him on a vacation, ended tragically Thursday night, when deputies say he aimed a crossbow at them.
Pinellas County sheriff's deputies fatally shot 55-year-old Stanley Eversole after he wielded the loaded weapon toward fellow deputies who were investigating a domestic disturbance between Eversole and his girlfriend, Lora Richter.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said deputies were called to the couple's residence at 252 Whisper Lake Road around 7:15 p.m.
Richter had recently won a European vacation in which she could take a guest and Eversole became angry when she decided to take a friend on the trip instead of him.
The dispute sparked days of unrest between Eversole and Richter, in which Eversole threatened and intimidated Richter with the crossbow, according to Gualtieri. Eversole threatened he'd use the weapon to kill officers responding to the home if Richter called law enforcement.
The Sheriff's Office said Richter's friend became worried when the two stopped exchanging text messages, and she had her daughter go to the residence to check on Richter. The daughter arrived to the residence Thursday evening and called deputies when she saw Eversole outside the home holding the crossbow.
When deputies arrived at the home, one noticed Eversole holding the loaded crossbow in the window, Gualtieri said. Eversole then exited the home and pointed the crossbow at two deputies.
Two other deputies from across the street, Casey Hunter and Brian Sudbrink, each fired two rounds at Eversole from semiautomic rifles, Gualtieri said.
Eversole was transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg where he died from his injuries.
"We're lucky the deputies weren't shot with that crossbow," Gualtieri said Thursday night. "Bulletproof vests don't stop those arrows …."
A man who identified himself as Richter's son said his mother didn't want to comment on the situation Friday.
Eversole is originally from Kentucky. He had no known criminal history, Gualtieri said. Because of his behavior, the Sheriff's Office is investigating whether Eversole had some type of mental illness.
Times staff writer Sara DiNatale and senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Times staff writer LaVendrick Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @LaVendrickS.