Office workers in the Bayview Pavilion were doing what they always do on Wednesday morning: brewing coffee, making phone calls and working at their desks.
Then the shots rang out.
On the third floor of the three-story office building, just south of Ulmerton Road near the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, 40 employees with Clarity Services, a credit company, locked themselves in rooms designated for computer servers.
Employees with United American Mortgage Company rushed down the stairs from the company’s second-floor offices and out to the parking lot, following a drill they’d practice recently. Some got in their cars and drove away.
On the first floor, where, it turned out, the shooter was, one of Matrix Medical Network’s female employees stood with a fire extinguisher in hand, ready to hurl it through a window in the back of the building – providing an escape route should the gunman make it through the locked doors.
Frederick M. Sumner, a 52-year-old transplant from Tennessee, showed up at the office building about 9:30 a.m. wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots and shot out glass windows and doors in the lobby, according to Largo police. Then he shot himself once in the stomach.
Sumner was distraught because he suspected his wife, who works at the office building, at 15550 Lightwave Drive, is having an affair, police said. She was not at work at the time, but police found her later and she is safe.
Inside the lobby, where a glass atrium stretches up to the roof, Sumner pulled a 9 mm handgun from his waistband and fired six shots.
"It was in the atrium," said Shawn Purvis, who works for United American Mortgage Company. "The acoustics there are just crazy. You get a kind of reverberation."
Seven to eight workers got under their desks and called 911, said Lt. James Ohanian of Largo Fire Rescue.
No one except Sumner was injured. He didn’t point the gun at anyone and didn’t threaten anyone, police said. The shooting caused about $5,000 in damages, according to police.
Two people in the building with medical conditions had to be treated because of anxiety and stress associated with the shooting, and one was taken to the hospital, Ohanian said. Others took advantage of their employers’ offers to take off the rest of the day.
After the shooting, Sumner, who lives in an apartment at 3305 Camelot Drive in Largo, was flown to Bayfront Medical Center. Once he is released from the hospital, he is expected to be booked into the Pinellas County Jail, where Largo police have already filed two charges against him: shooting into a building and criminal mischief. Bail for the two charges is set at $25,000.