Thursday, June 21, 2018
Public safety

Pinellas deputies investigating shooting in which husband killed, wife injured

ST. PETERSBURG — Joseph Kern was having a coffee and a cigarette outside his home Wednesday evening when a young man came running toward him.

"There's shooting over there! There's shooting over there," the young man screamed.

Kern, 34, ran to the blue and white home across the street. A woman greeted him at the door.

"I saw a lady walk out with a hole in her side and blood everywhere," Kern later told the Tampa Bay Times. "She was clutching her side. She said 'I've been shot! I've been shot!' "

The woman told Kern that her husband also had been shot. Kern ran into a bedroom and saw the man on the floor. He had been shot in the side. His eyes were fixed. He wasn't breathing.

Kern covered the wound with a towel and gave the man CPR.

Paramedics arrived and took the man and woman to the hospital. Pinellas deputies said the man later died. His wife suffered serious injuries but was alive late Wednesday night.

Deputies said the shooting occurred about 7:30 p.m. after a white "Lexus-type vehicle" pulled up to the couple's home at 2533 68th Ave. N. Two males got out of the car and went into the house, after which shots rang out.

The two males returned to the car and drove off. They remained at large late Wednesday night. Deputies said the case may be drug-related.

"We have some leads," said Pinellas sheriff's office spokeswoman Marianne Pasha. "It wasn't a random act."

Deputies did not provide a detailed description of the males who went into the home.

Kern said the home is a rental property and that the couple who lived there appeared to be in their 60s. Deputies did not release their names Wednesday night.

Pasha said other people were inside the house when the shooting occurred. Those people were being interviewed, she said.

Kern, who works as a tile setter, said he did not see the white car in front of the home, so it likely was gone by the time he came outside for his cigarette. He also didn't hear anything unusual — though he noted that there is a shooting range in the neighborhood, so the sound of gunshots would not alarm him.

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