Pinellas sheriff: Deputy shoots, kills man who made threats of self-harm before pointing gun at officers

The investigation into a hit-and-run crash early Sunday morning took a deadly turn after deputies confronted a possible suspect, who was armed and under distress, according to the Pinellas County sheriff. 

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the media what happened during a press conference Sunday. Gualtieri said it started with a call about a crash at 13th Avenue N near 50th Street. 

A bumper with the license plate still attached had been left behind after a suspected hit-and-run.

Image of officer-involved shooting scene, courtesy Pinellas sheriff

Investigators linked the license plate to an apartment on 58th Street N near 12th Ave., but no one came to the door when deputies arrived. The car was registered to a woman living in a nursing home, who told them she was worried about her 63-year-old son, Gus Spanoudis.

Deputies, accompanied by St. Petersburg police, returned to the apartment on 58th St. and forced their way in. They found Spanoudis in a bedroom, armed with a gun and making threats of self harm.

They say that's when Spanoudis turned the gun toward Officer Jace Morrow. Investigators say St. Pete PD Officer Morrow told Spanoudis to drop the gun several times before firing.

Spanoudis was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Next of kin has been notified.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the officer-involved shooting.