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Clearwater police fatally shoot man at 55-and-older Lexington Club

CLEARWATER — A brochure for Lexington Club at Renaissance Square describes the 240-unit senior apartment community as a quiet place where people play cards, read books and take classes in a computer room.

It's typically a peaceful spot, residents say.

It wasn't Monday night.

At 10:48 p.m., two Clearwater police officers were sent to a "domestic situation" at the complex. Forty-six minutes later, Michael Gaides, a caretaker for another resident, was pronounced dead at the scene after being shot by officers.

Neighbors were stunned.

"He was a nice guy," said Richard Sendall, who lives a few doors down from Gaides. "He minded his own business."

According to police, Gaides, 52, was involved in a dispute with a 61-year-old female resident with whom he shared a second-floor apartment. By the time officers arrived, Gaides had retreated to the first-floor unit of a friend he had been staying with.

After making contact with the victim and conducting an investigation, the officers went downstairs to locate Gaides. When officers knocked on the door, the resident let them in and told them Gaides was in a bedroom, authorities said.

According to police, a verbal exchange with Gaides ensued through a closed door. After officers opened the door, Gaides fired a gun at them, police said. Both officers returned fire, striking Gaides at least once.

Police didn't say how many shots Gaides or the officers fired.

Additional guns were found in the suspect's bedroom, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Gaides has no criminal record in Florida.

The officers, Scott Durivou and Eliad Glenn, have been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure while the shooting is investigated by Clearwater police and Internal Affairs. The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office will review the shooting.

Glenn, 30, hired by the department in 2007, was involved in an Internal Affairs investigation later that same year, but was cleared of any wrongdoing after he shot at an intruder in his Tarpon Springs home.

Durivou, 40, who has been with the department since 2001, was the Fraternal Order of Police Officer of the Month in August 2005.

Lexington Club at Renaissance Square, 1200 S Missouri St., is a development for residents 55 and older, said Lori Trainer, spokeswoman for Concord Management.

Gaides' relationship to the person he cared for was not known, she said. Trainer said she was not aware of any prior disputes at Gaides' residence.

"When the phone call came in," Trainer said, "I was shocked."

Douglas Clifford contributed to this report. Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kniebuhr@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4156.

Clearwater police fatally shoot man at 55-and-older Lexington Club 03/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 9:36pm]
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