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Shooting of suspect justified

A Hillsborough sheriff's lieutenant was justified in shooting at a man who killed his ex-girlfriend last month at the University of South Florida, the State Attorney's Office ruled Thursday.

Lt. Kevin Fitzpatrick fired at 22-year-old Peter H. Howarth on Feb. 17 after Howarth had fatally shot his ex-girlfriend, Heather Haupin, as she was leaving a concert at USF. Haupin, 19, died at the scene.

Fitzpatrick and Deputy Michael Krohn responded to the call about 11:30 p.m. and encountered Howarth walking northbound on 42nd Street.

He repeatedly was told to drop his weapon, but he refused, authorities said. Before Fitzpatrick fired, Howarth took his own weapon and shot himself in head. He has remained in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital since the shooting.

"Howarth's actions posed a threat of death and/or bodily harm to the law enforcement officers on the scene as well as to the public at large," State Attorney Harry Lee Coe wrote in a letter to Sheriff Cal Henderson.