Sunday, February 25, 2018
Public safety

St. Pete officer cleared in fatal shooting of woman

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer who shot a woman to death after she pointed a gun at him last month was cleared of wrongdoing Wednesday after a state attorney's investigation.

Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe declared the April 28 death of Pamela Dale Kirk to be "justifiable homicide" in a letter sent to St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon.

Officer Christopher Dolch fired three times at Kirk after she pointed a .38 Smith & Wesson at him through a window at her home at 2630 13th Ave. N, authorities said. Dolch was one of three officers who responded to a welfare check at the home after one of Kirk's neighbors reported she was acting strangely.

McCabe's letter detailed events that led up to the shooting.

At about 7:30 p.m. that day, Kirk visited her neighbor, Donna Kober, and asked her to take care of Kirk's dog. Kirk was crying during the visit and gave Kober a hug, which was uncharacteristic of their friendship.

Kober phoned police. Dolch arrived with officers Nicholas Cardinal and Matthew Enhoffer and spoke with Kober. They could hear Kirk inside the house, screaming, cursing and demanding that they leave her alone. As officers tried to talk to her, McCabe wrote, Kirk opened the door and said, "I'm going to get my gun and make you shoot me."

Dolch and Kober went to Kirk's back yard while the other two officers remained in the front. Kober had a key to the back door and tried to unlock it, but Kirk quickly locked it again. A moment later, Kirk pulled back a window curtain and pointed her gun at Dolch.

"Boom," she said.

Dolch fired three shots from his .45 Glock. Two hit Kirk in the chest. She later died.

"The actions of Pamela Dale Kirk, coupled with her depression and past suicidal comments, led to the conclusion that she was inviting her death by Officer Dolch," McCabe wrote.

In the last three years, police were called to Kirk's house five times. In four of those cases, she was taken into protective custody under the state's Baker Act.

After an incident on Feb. 1, 2011, police confiscated three guns from Kirk's home. They were later returned to her.

Comments
Hit-and-run driver in fatal accident sought by law enforcement

Hit-and-run driver in fatal accident sought by law enforcement

A hit-and-run crash has left a Tampa man dead, his female passenger in critical condition and law enforcement in search of the man who was driving the vehicle that struck them from behind.A Nissan Sentra was traveling north in the inside lane of U.S....
Updated: 3 hours ago
Troopers: Bradenton man dies after falling through hole in RV

Troopers: Bradenton man dies after falling through hole in RV

A Bradenton man died on Interstate 75 in Sumter County on Sunday after falling through a hole that opened in the cabin of a recreational vehicle when it collided with a guardrail, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The man, whose name was not im...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Riverview woman dies in Friday car crash

A woman died Friday when her car collided with another vehicle on U.S. 301 in Riverview, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Melanie Hoitt, 38, of Riverview was driving a Nissan Altima north on U.S. 301 approaching Southern Pointe Boulevard short...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

PLANT CITY — A man died Saturday night after he was stabbed inside his home by a neighbor, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Moses Wilson, 49, got into an argument with James Michael Meeks, 23, both of whom live at 4308 James L. R...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

WASHINGTON — A woman close to the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI in chilling detail that he had a growing collection of guns and a temper so uncontrollable she worried about him "getting into a school and j...
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

He was chronically depressed, beguiled by firearms and violence, an oddball ostracized by peers and prone to angry outbursts.He experienced, in rapid succession, blows of the sort that can send a disturbed, isolated young man hurtling into a spiral o...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Published: 02/24/18
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Published: 02/24/18
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Published: 02/24/18
Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating allegations that multiple deputies failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the shooting rampage there, adding to the mounting internal probes examin...
Published: 02/24/18