Neighbors of Fred Sumner say he showed no signs of distress before shooting

LARGO, Fla - Gary Hudak started his Wednesday like every other.  He got up, put a leash on his dog Chester and headed out for their morning walk along Camelot Drive. 

Like always, Hudak says he bumped into his neighbor Fred Sumner.

"He was fine," explained Hudak.  "He seemed fine. We usually walked the dogs together."

Hudak told ABC Action News he chatted with Sumner, who was clutching a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette, before heading in to get ready for work around 8:30 a.m.

When Hudak headed to work a couple hours later, three police cars were outside of his apartment complex and officers were inside Sumner's apartment.

Hudak did not know what was going on but doubted his neighbor had done anything wrong.

He learned late in the evening, police identified his 52-year-old neighbor as the man who opened fire in the lobby of Largo office building on Lightwave Drive.  According to police, Sumner's wife works at the office building and Sumner came there upset over an alleged affair his wife was having. 

No one at the office building was injured.  Sumner, according to police, shot out glass windows and doors before turning the gun on himself.  He sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach.

"We were all sitting at our desk and heard at lest 10 gun shots throughout the lobby," explained a frantic woman to a 911 operator.

Police later revealed that Sumner's wife was not at work at the time of the shooting.

According to Hudak, the Sumner's moved to Largo four months ago from Knoxville, Tennessee.

"It's a shame.  It is a real shame.  He is a nice guy," Hudak explained.

Hudak describes Sumner and his wife as a social couple who liked to go out.  Often times, he would see them leaving together in the morning.  Tuesday night, the couple even tried saving an injured bird behind their apartment complex.

Their loving demeanor just a day ago has Hudak doubting martial strife was the motive behind the shooting.

"Valentine's Day she came home with the flowers he got her.  They were both excited about it," he recalled.

ABC Action News did try to speak with Sumner's wife.  She was not home at the time and calls for comment were not immediately returned.

Sumner was airlifted to an area hospital..  He is under arrest and still being treated.

Police have charged him with criminal mischief and shooting within an occupied building.


Print this article Back to Top