Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sheriff's Office identifies pair in High Point deaths

LARGO — The call was extraordinary even for dispatchers. Justin Sean Tucker phoned 911 to report he had just stabbed his mother to death.

Then he hung up.

Moments later, just after noon on Friday, three deputies swarmed the two-story home at 2917 Pine Cone Circle in the High Point area. Cpl. Pete Doyle approached the front door and announced he was with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

"When that happened, all the deputies started hearing loud yelling and screaming from somebody that was on top of the staircase," Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "It was all incoherent, just ranting … he was just totally out of control."

Tucker, 36, charged down the staircase and outside the front door toward Doyle with a "dark object" in his hand, Gualtieri said. Doyle ordered him to stop several times. When he continued advancing toward him, Doyle fired multiple rounds, killing Tucker, Gualtieri said.

Deputies found his mother, Kathryn Marie Clark, 67, stabbed to death inside the home. Investigators found a butcher knife near her body, Gualtieri said.

Tucker's motive in killing Clark remained unknown Friday, but court records reveal he has lashed out at his mother in the past.

In March 1998, Clark filed a domestic violence injunction against her son after he arrived at her house drunk and asked her and her then-boyfriend, Richard Clark, several times for money. When they refused to give him cash, Tucker began slamming the furniture into the walls. Richard Clark and Tucker scuffled on the staircase.

"I tried to intervene," Kathryn Clark wrote in the injunction. "The three of us almost went over the railing."

She also noted that she had previously kicked Tucker out, and that he often exhibited "irrational behavior" that included yelling threats of physical abuse at her and breaking into the house, according to the injunction.

But Clark later withdrew the injunction, citing that her son, who had drug problems, was now "employed, productive, and respectful."

"He, some months ago, did a week in the hospital due to his drug indulgence, which brought the reality 'front and center' of what he was doing to himself," she wrote. "He is no longer drugging. I now envision good things for him."

But state records show Tucker was arrested several times after 1998 on charges of cocaine, heroin and drug paraphernalia possession. He was most recently arrested on a DUI charge in May 2013.

The Sheriff's Office didn't say Friday what object Tucker was holding as he charged at Doyle.

Neighbors near the townhome Friday said they heard five gunshots.

"It was just a steady stream of them," said Michael Caldwell, 36, who lives across the street.

According to neighbors, Kathryn Clark was a retired nurse who lived at the townhome with Richard Clark, whom she married in 2001, as well as her son and two cats. She bought the home at the Eastwood Pines Townhomes subdivision in 1997, property records show.

Her family could not be reached for comment Friday.

"A great person. Did anything for anybody," said another neighbor, Jean Cunningham, 83. "It's hard to believe. She is going to be missed, that's for sure, because we talked a lot."

Caldwell said he had spoken with Tucker, who always appeared calm, on several occasions near the subdivision's pool.

"This is insane," he said. "It's kind of hitting me now."

Donna Mason, 68, said she never met Tucker, but became friends with Clark a few weeks ago when she picked up a painting of a seascape that Clark was giving away.

"Great lady," Mason said. "Very nice people."

On Friday afternoon, she walked over to Clark's house to chat. Then she noticed the crime scene tape across the entrance.

Times staff writer Mike Brassfield, as well as Times staff researchers Carolyn Edds and Natalie A. Watson, contributed to this report. Laura C. Morel can be reached at [email protected] or (727)445-4157. Follow her on Twitter @lauracmorel.

Investigators work the scene where a Pinellas deputy shot and killed a man who may have killed his mother Friday, according to the Sheriff's Office.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Investigators work the scene where a Pinellas deputy shot and killed a man who may have killed his mother Friday, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's Office identifies pair in High Point deaths 05/16/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 16, 2014 9:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Richard Spencer coming to town? What UF can learn from other schools

    College

    With Richard Spencer's controversial visit to the University of Florida quickly approaching, some UF and Gainesville police officers boarded a plane bound for Berkeley.

    Thousands of people, many of them college students, gather for a vigil on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 16 -- four days after a Unite the Right rally that led to clashes and the death of a woman. In advance of an appearance Thursday at the University of Florida by white nationalist Richard Spencer, the school is looking at what happened in Charlottesville and other venues where controversial speakers have visited. [Jason Lappa | The New York Times]
  2. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
  3. Today he secures Bucs games; 30 years ago he played in them

    Bucs

    TAMPA —- Whenever the Bucs play a home game, Sankar Montoute is on hand to supervise more than 50 officers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on duty at Raymond James Stadium.

    Sankar Montoute, who oversees Homeland Security for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, was a replacement player for the Bucs during the 1987 strike. 
Montoute, who had a sack and interception in the same NFL game, oversees the 50-plus officers who work at Bucs games, most of whom have no idea he played. [Times files (1987)]
  4. Florida woman weighing 325 pounds charged with killing girl by sitting on her

    Crime

    PENSACOLA — A 325-pound (150-kilogram) Florida woman is charged with killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as punishment.

    This Oct. 14, 2017 photo made available by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Fla., shows Veronica Green Posey under arrest. Posey is charged with killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as punishment. Posey, who weighs 325 pounds, first punished the girl with a ruler and metal pipe before sitting on her for at least 10 minutes. [Escambia County Sheriff's Office via AP]
  5. Girl, 8, got on 'tippy toes' to peer over cruise ship railing, then fell to her death

    Accidents

    MIAMI — A family cruise to paradise turned into a nightmare on Saturday, when an 8-year-old tumbled over the inner railings of a ship and fell to her death.

    Friends and family mourn Zion Smith, the 8-year-old girl who fell to her death aboard a Carnival cruise in Miami this weekend. [Image from Facebook]