Kmart suicide was an end to his suffering
David Harris Shafley was suffering.
At 52, his back was bad and he used a cane to walk. For years, he was forced to wear a colostomy bag, neighbors said.
His finances mirrored his health, and he took in boarders at his Port Richey home to help pay the rent. He would lament that he never seemed to get a good one, neighbors said.
Then came his arrest.
The episode three months ago seemed to some to speed an unraveling that culminated Saturday afternoon when authorities say Shafley killed himself inside a Kmart store in Hudson after being caught shoplifting.
On March 11, he had been charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest without violence. He was released from jail two days later after posting bail.
Neighbors say it actually was Shafley who had called authorities, to help with a tenant dispute at his San Moritz Drive home.
The arrest was a major blow, said neighbor Bill Naumann, 72.
"He couldn't understand why everything was happening to him," he said, recalling a recent conversation with him. "It seemed like nothing good would happen. He was in constant pain."
On Saturday, Shafley shot himself in the head after being caught shoplifting. The incident happened after 3 p.m. at the Kmart at 12412 U.S. 19, about a half-mile north of State Road 52.
Authorities said Shafley was brought to a loss-prevention office in the back of the store after being caught attempting to shoplift two packs of rechargeable batteries and bottles of soda, valued at $39.
While being questioned by two loss-prevention officers, Shafley pulled a .22-caliber handgun and fired it at the doorway, where the two employees were standing.
The two workers ran out of the room. Then Shafley shot himself in the head, authorities said.
Before shooting himself, Shafley told the employees he was distraught and having difficulty caring for an elderly relative.
Public hearing set for redistricting changes
Hillsborough County commissioners are scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote tonight on plans to redraw election boundaries.
Every 10 years, political districts from Congress to local offices are redrawn to ensure each member represents roughly the same number of people. That's also true for the four commission seats that represent portions of the county. The other three are filled in countywide elections.
Hillsborough has the added burden of trying to ensure that at least one of its districts affords minorities a shot of winning as indicated by its demographic makeup. The county is under Justice Department supervision for past discrimination.
The proposed maps can see be seen at hillsboroughcounty.org/redistricting.
The hearing is set for 6 p.m. at the County Center, 601 E Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.
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