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Man Shot After Aiming Rifle At Deputies

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says that the man led them on a chase through Sarasota before they arrived at the suspect's home where the man aimed a rifle at deputies.

A man with a violent history is recovering from a bullet wound today from a Sarasota County Sheriff's deputy after the man had apparently aimed a rifle at two deputies.

The incident started when deputies attempted to pull over a red Chrysler convertible on U.S. 301 near Myrtle for speeding just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, but the car drove off after it initially pulled over near Bahia Vista and U.S. 41, according to the sheriff's office. 

Deputies didn't pursue the car, but instead drove to the address registered to the car, 3500 Aloha Way, arriving there at 3:30 a.m., according to the sheriff's office. When deputies arrived, the red car was parked in the driveway and Gudmestad's driver's license laid on the ground, according to the affidavit.

That's when deputies found the suspect, Lawrence John Gudmestad, 49, hiding inside the bathroom shower, where he hid behind the curtain with the 22-caliber rifle, according to the affidavit.

Deputy John Gnesin and Sgt. Mark Tulis retreated out of the home and took cover behind their patrol cars, when Gudmestad came out of the home with the rifle and refused trop drop it despite the commands from the sheriff's deputies, according to the affidavit.

Gudmestad then aimed the rifle at Sgt. Mark Tulis and Dep. John Gnesin, prompting the two to fire at the suspect, according to the sheriff's office.

Gudmestad was struck by bullet fragments in his shoulder and is being treated at Sarasota Memorial Hospital for the gunshot wound, described as a non-life threatening injury, and is expected to be released later today, according to the sheriff's office.

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According to the sheriff's office, Gudmestad, whose last known address was 19251 Weymouth Drive, Land O' Lakes, will be booked into Sarasota County Jail on:

  • two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer
  • one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • one count of aggravated fleeing to elude law enforcement

Gudmestad, who was born in New Jersey, has a long arrest history for violent crimes in several Florida counties as well as in Michigan and New Jersey, according to the sheriff's office.

In Florida alone, Gudmestad has 36 felony charges, 15 felony convictions and he was sentenced to prison five times, according to the sheriff's office. His crimes include aggravated assault, battery, robbery, drugs and weapons charges.

Tulis and Gnesin are on routine paid administrative leave until the shooting investigation is complete, according to the sheriff's office.

Tulis, 33, was hired in 2002 while Gnesin, 30, was hired in 2009, according to the sheriff's office.

Tom Romano January 22, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Gudmestad has 36 felony charges, 15 felony convictions and he was sentenced to prison five times, according to the sheriff's office. His crimes include aggravated assault, battery, robbery, drugs and weapons charges. WHY WAS THIS MAN STILL ON THE STREETS OF SARASOTA? WE HAVE NOTHING BUT IDIOTIC JUDGES HERE
Tom Romano January 22, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Am I delusional or didnt we have a " 3 times your out law " that put career criminals away for life? Florida lawmakers need to get their heads out of their butts and seriously address this issue
RAJ (Bo) McMerritt January 22, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Man oh man how does this happen..if it were you or I we'd be clangin' the bars in County lock-up.

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