CLEARWATER — Carolyn Foreman last spoke to her son around Christmas.
Jesse J. Foreman, a 36-year-old Air Force technical sergeant, called to thank his mom for the cookies and treats she'd sent.
On Thursday, the military called to say Jesse Foreman had gone AWOL, his mother said. On Friday, Clearwater police and Air Force personnel tried to make contact with the serviceman, who had barricaded himself inside a Clearwater Beach hotel room.
Jesse Foreman shot and killed himself before authorities could get inside.
"It's unbelievable," Carolyn Foreman said Saturday from her home in Grants, N.M., where Jesse Foreman grew up. "I'm not aware of all the facts myself."
Authorities went to the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 521 S Gulfview Blvd., on Friday evening after getting reports that the armed and suicidal serviceman was in Room 262. Some hotel guests were evacuated and beachgoers gathered nearby.
Air Force officials were trying to communicate with him when at least one shot was fired from inside at about 7:20 p.m., a police spokeswoman said. Officers called for guns and shields and took up tactical positions around the hotel. They found Foreman dead when they entered about an hour later.
Jesse Foreman joined the military at 19, his mother said. He went oversees several times during his career, including three tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.
"I lost track of how many he did in Kuwait," his mother said.
Carolyn Foreman, 58, didn't know her son was in Florida. She said he lived in Valdosta, Ga., and has a "chest full" of awards, ribbons and medals.
"He always talked about doing the 20 (years)," she said.
Jesse Foreman is survived by his mother; father, Michael; and a younger brother, Keegan, who lives in Oklahoma.
Kameel Stanley can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8643.