***Update as of 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, December 27, 2022***
The State Attorney's Office released the results of their investigation involving the St. Petersburg Police Department officer-involved shooting of 63-year-old Gus Spanoudis.
In a letter sent to Chief Holloway on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, State Attorney Bruce Bartlett stated, "As a result of this investigation, I have determined that Officer Jace Morrow and Officer James Demaria were in the lawful performance of their legal duties when they entered the residence for a welfare check on Gus Spanoudis. When approached by Officer Demorrow, Spanoudis initially cooperated but later drew a loaded firearm and pointed it in Officer Morrow's direction. Spanoudis refused to comply with Officer Morrow's commands to drop his firearm and Spanoudis ultimately raised the firearm and pointed it in the direction of Officer Morrow and Officer Demaria, committing the felony crime of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. Officer Morrow was justified in his belief that he and Officer Demaria were in danger of death or great bodily harm as a result of the actions of Spanoudis.”
The State Attorney's Office concluded that the death of Gus Spanoudis was justifiable homicide, pursuant to Florida Statute 776.012 and 776.032.
The State Attorney's letter can be viewed here:
***END OF UPDATE***
Original News Release:
Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force
-Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
-Clearwater Police Department
-Pinellas Park Police Department
State Attorney’s Office – Sixth Judicial Circuit
St. Petersburg Police Department
Gus Spanoudis (Suspect – Deceased)
Address: 1225 58th Street North, Apartment 204A, St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg Police Officer Jace Morrow (Officer – Uninjured)
Date of hire: 11/09/2015
PINELLAS COUNTY - Detectives assigned to the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force are investigating an officer-involved shooting in the City of St. Petersburg.
At approximately 3:48 a.m. on November 27, 2022, St. Petersburg Police Officers responded to a report of a hit and run in the area of 13th Avenue North and 50th Street North. According to detectives, the bumper of the suspect’s vehicle was left at the scene, with the vehicles’ license plate still attached. When officers ran the license plate, the registered address came back to 1225 58th Street North, Apartment 204A.
According to detectives, officers attempted to make contact at the residence multiple times. After several failed attempts, the officers spoke to the vehicle's registered owner, Mary Spanoudis, who currently resides at a local nursing home. Detectives say Mary expressed concern about the well-being of her 63-year-old son, Gus Spanoudis.
At approximately 6:10 a.m., officers, with assistance of the St. Petersburg Fire Department, forced entry into the residence. Upon entry, Spanoudis was located in the back bedroom.
According to detectives, Spanoudis made suicidal statements and pointed a firearm at Officer Jace Morrow. Officer Morrow issued several commands to drop the firearm before firing at Spanoudis.
Spanoudis was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Next of kin has been notified.
In 2020, the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Taskforce was created to ensure the investigations conducted into law enforcement use of deadly force are thorough, complete, and objective. The purpose of this taskforce is to make sure that officer-involved shootings in Pinellas County are investigated by an independent agency and not by the agency involved in the use of deadly force.
Per St. Petersburg Police Department’s policy, Officer Morrow will be placed on no duty status.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference on scene and it can be found here: https://youtu.be/O6CRXpHO2eQ
The investigation continues.
Below is a photo of the firearm found on scene.
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