The body of 80-year-old Edwin Barthold was found outside his Oldsmar home Saturday night. Deputies say a neighbor shot him six times and then turned the gun on himself. Deputies say there was a history of the two arguing.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office report that Steven Larson, 75, was found dead at his home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Detectives say Larson shot Barthold to death. Barthold was shot six times.
Larson shot Barthold in the head and chest with a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol, the sheriff said. Even after Barthold fell to the ground after the first shot, which struck the man in the chest, deputies say Larson continued to fire.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri made further references to the history of the pair not getting along.
“This is a case or a situation about two old guys that didn’t get along, and hated each other and one decided to go kill the other one and then kill himself,” Gualtieri said.
“There is no question he wanted to kill him,” Gualtieri said. “When someone shoots someone six times, that’s a man who is hell-bent.”
Deputies added that Larson left Barthold lying in the roadway and walked home and into his garage, where he put the pistol barrel in his mouth and committed suicide.
Deputies said they responded to a call in April because of a physical fight between the two over sprinklers. Another incident centered around a disagreement over parking.
Witnesses told investigators the men continued to “bait” each other by parking their cars to intentionally block each other’s driveways and pointing sprinklers to spray on each other’s lawns and vehicles. It was “very petty stuff,” the sheriff said.
Neighbors say Larson was known for being a “hot head” but that they never thought he would do something like this.
Deputies also say Larson’s wife witnessed the incident, but offered no details on the argument which triggered the drastic response.
“These men antagonized each other,” the sheriff said. “Obviously, it annoyed (Larson) to the point that he snapped.”
Deputies found a receipt for the pistol dating to 2012, along with a gun case and ammunition, in Larson’s bedroom, where his wife told investigators he went after getting home and before walking outside to confront his unsuspecting neighbor.