ST. PETERSBURG — Shots rang out. Two, maybe three.
Richard Taylor, 40, was walking to a neighbor's house on 14th Avenue S when he heard the blasts. He dove to the ground and kept his eyes down. A block away, someone yelled, "Drop the gun!"
Late Tuesday, two St. Petersburg police officers shot and killed a 39-year-old man after he fired at them with a .38-caliber revolver, police officials said. The officers were not injured. The gunman, Carlos Crompton, died hours later at Bayfront Medical Center.
Earlier that evening, officers say, Crompton shot his former girlfriend multiple times at Dover Apartments, 3545 30th Ave. N. Then he got into his black Chevy sedan and drove to the 3200 block of 14th Avenue, where he stayed with relatives, police spokesman Bill Proffitt said. That was where police found him standing by the car, holding a .38-caliber revolver. After he fired at the officers, they returned fire, Proffitt said.
Not long after Crompton was taken to the hospital, neighbors stood behind police tape, talking about the shooting and death of a popular man with long black dreadlocks.
"Carlos was like my brother," said Taylor, who lives down the block. "It's so crazy. We were just in church together."
About 8:40 p.m., police officers found a woman with multiple gunshot wounds inside Unit 9 at Dover Apartments.
Alyssa Dudley, 21, was in surgery at Bayfront late Tuesday with what Proffitt described as life-threatening injuries. He said she was Crompton's former girlfriend.
Officers on the scene of the woman's shooting were directed to Crompton, who had driven away before police arrived.
As the officers approached him, they said, he fired one round at an officer. Two officers, who Proffitt said will be identified today, returned fire.
Crompton's gun remained in his yard Tuesday night as a forensics team continued to investigate. His black Chevy sedan was parked nearby.
A neighbor, Retha Franklin, 59, heard the shots and ran inside her ranch-style home.
"My hip still hurts from taking off like that!" she said. "It's not the first time I've heard shots around here, but I'm not scared."
She looked toward the sky.
"I go to work every day, come home and pray," she said. "You have to pray."
Danielle Paquette can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8321.