Victim and attacker in Tampa shooting and suicide had tangled connections

TAMPA — The two families started out as friends.

But soon things started to deteriorate. The caustic situation escalated from threatening phone calls to the wounding of one man and the death of another Wednesday.

Tampa police say Ken Mock, 62, shot Jeremy Olmstead, 27, three times before turning the gun on himself. Olmstead was in stable condition Thursday night at St. Joseph's Hospital with wounds in his abdomen, arm and thigh.

Olmstead's father said Thursday that he wishes he could have prevented the violence.

"I thought he had the brass to do Jeremy," Olmstead said. "But I did not think he had the brass to do himself."

David Olmstead said that his son became friends with Mock and Julie Wheelus-Dunham, 28, his wife of nine years, through their daughters, who attend Kimball Elementary School.

Mock was 34 years older than his wife, and the marriage began to fall apart during the summer. There was also a disagreement between Mock and Olmstead over money.

David Olmstead, 57, said his son was receiving harassing phone calls from Mock. The father was in the process of seeking a restraining order, but never completed the required paperwork.

Wheelus-Dunham was moving into a new home near Temple Terrace and Jeremy Olmstead was helping her move on Wednesday when Mock arrived.

"Jeremy asked him what he was doing and he (Mock) pulled out a gun and shot him," Olmstead said. "He shot him two more times when he was on the ground."

Then, he said, Mock sat in his truck and took his own life in front of his wife.

"I think it was his last act of defiance. He wanted to leave her with guilt," David Olmstead said.

Though David Olmstead said his son and Wheelus-Dunham were romantically involved, she said they were just friends.

She blames the breakup of her marriage on the difference in their ages.

"I was a kid when I got married and I am not a kid now," she said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jared Leone can be reached at (813) 226-3435 or jleone@sptimes.com.

Victim and attacker in Tampa shooting and suicide had tangled connections 12/10/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:20pm]

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