Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri: Around 4 a.m., deputies spotted John Clark driving his mother's vehicle. Authorities said he had a shotgun on his lap. He was shot by deputies. (Spectrum News image)
SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — A mother and son are dead after an early-morning sequence of events Saturday in Safety Harbor.
Pinellas County sheriff's deputies responded to 2360 Flanders Way just before 2:30 a.m. for a welfare check. Authorities said the check was prompted by a call from Illinois.
The out-of-state caller said his friend in Safety Harbor called and told him he shot his mother and didn't want to go to jail. When deputies arrived at the home, they found 64-year-old Susan Clark dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
An immediate search began for Clark's son John, 35, who has a history of addiction and mental illness.
Around 4 a.m., deputies spotted him driving his mother's vehicle near the home. Authorities said he had a shotgun on his lap.
“They (deputies) were telling him to drop the gun, stop the car, drop the gun, stop the car, he did neither and continued,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “At one point, as he (John Clark) continued driving very slowly to the west, he took the shotgun from between his legs and pointed toward the passenger side window where the deputies were and at that point the deputies fired.”
The younger Park was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where he died.
The three deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place.
Authorities are still trying to piece together what led John Park to kill his mother.
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