ST. PETERSBURG — Alyssa Dudley had been trying to break up with Carlos Crompton for weeks.
The 21-year-old Dixie Hollins graduate was ready to move on. She asked her mom to change her phone number. Three days ago, she again told Crompton, whom she had dated for three years, that it was over.
Crompton, 39, apparently could not handle that. He shot Dudley multiple times inside her apartment about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
He fled in a black Chevy sedan, which police said they tracked to a relative's home in the 4200 block of 14th Avenue S. As officers approached, he fired a round from a .38-caliber revolver.
Officers Brian Burton, 29, and Joseph Heer, 28, returned fire, killing Crompton.
Dudley had surgery overnight and remains in critical but stable condition at Bayfront Medical Center, her family said.
"I really don't know what to say," her mother, Diana Dudley, said Wednesday through tears. "She just was ready to move on — and she was trying to. He just wasn't having it."
Shortly before the shooting, a neighbor said she saw Crompton carrying what looked like four red teddy bears upstairs. Another resident recalled seeing Crompton leaning against a car, reading a Bible while wearing what appeared to be gardening gloves.
Not long after, residents heard three shots, separated by 15-second delays.
"Probably about a minute later, a woman came out and she started screaming, 'Somebody help her! Help her! She's on the ground,' " said James Stinger, 25, of Fort Lauderdale, who was there to visit a friend.
As is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings, both officers were put on leave pending investigations by internal affairs and the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office. Burton has been on the force for seven years; Heer for eight. Neither had any major discipline issues in their personnel files.
Two unmarked police cars blocked off a small section of 14th Avenue S on Wednesday outside the house where Crompton was shot. Neighbors said Crompton often visited his mother there.
A man who identified himself as Crompton's stepfather declined to speak to a reporter.
Several neighbors shared a common story: They heard shots but saw nothing.
"All I heard was the shots, da-da-da-da-da," said Dannie Williams, 58. "When I came out, it was a done deal."
Williams said he knew Crompton in passing, and the two had spoken on the street a few days before the shooting.
"I kind of thought he was into music, called himself a little DJ, thought himself a little ladies' man," Williams said.
Richard Taylor, 40, said he was friendly with Crompton for years and saw him last week at church.
"I always knew Carlos to be a hard worker, have one or two jobs," Taylor said.
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Residents at Dover Apartments, about 4 miles away at 3545 30th Ave. N., said they thought Crompton lived in Apt. 9 with Dudley. Several neighbors said they did not know the two but saw them around.
Jen Bronson, 32, lives a few doors down from Dudley. She was not home Tuesday evening, but said she often heard arguing inside the home.
Diana Dudley said she never knew Crompton to be violent toward her daughter. Police said they have never been called to the apartment.
Records show Crompton was last arrested in 2004 for a traffic offense. He also had previous arrests in the late 1990s on charges that included carrying a concealed weapon, passing a bad check, drug possession, burglary and battery.
Police are still trying to find out where he got the gun.
Diana Dudley said her daughter works at an assisted living facility. In addition to Crompton, she said two other people stayed with Dudley. Those people, both women, were inside the apartment Tuesday night. They called Diana Dudley after the shooting.
"She's a good girl. She took care of herself," Diana Dudley said. "We're cautiously optimistic. Prayers are always welcome."
Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8643.