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Man who shot mother's fiance at Pinellas Park hotel dies

PINELLAS PARK — A man who shot and killed his mother's fiance and then himself inside a hotel room Wednesday night has died, police said.

Anthony McClaney, 29, was staying with his grandmother, mother and her fiance in the TownePlace Suites by Marriott in the 13200 block of 49th Street N in Pinellas Park. The family had been there since Dec. 18 after their home in Largo burned down, police said.

About 9:30 p.m., without a word, McClaney entered the bedroom where his mother lay reading a book and Mitchell Arnold, 48, watched TV.

McClaney raised a .38 revolver and shot Arnold.

He then pointed the gun at his own head and said, "I'm going to meet Jesus, Mama."

Rescuers pronounced Arnold dead at the scene. They took McClaney to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

McClaney died at 1:22 p.m. Thursday.

McClaney had a history of mental illness, police said. He had been convicted of possession of drugs, carrying a concealed weapon and was arrested in 2007 on the University of Tampa campus after acting hostile and erratic near some dorms.

Students in the area that afternoon said McClaney was kicking a door and screaming outside the Alfred and Beverly Austin Hal dorm hall. During that time, police listed McClaney as a transient.

A woman who said she was McClaney's mother answered the family's phone Thursday. She said her son and fiance got along well. She didn't know why McClaney killed him, she said. She would not comment further.

The mother was not injured, police said.

Man who shot mother's fiance at Pinellas Park hotel dies 01/02/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 2, 2014 7:47pm]
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