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Florida auto shop owner and angry customer shot each other to death, police say

Police car with blue lights
Police car with blue lights on the crime scene. Photo by iStock /Getty Images Plus

LARGO, Fla. — A shooting at a Florida auto shop that killed two men was triggered by a former customer’s dissatisfaction with work done on his car two years ago, police said Thursday.

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The Largo Police Department said Eugene Frank Becker, 78, arrived at Stout’s Automotive in a rental car Wednesday and sought out business owner Jodie Stout, 52. Investigators say Becker pulled out a handgun and shot Stout, who returned fire with his own gun, striking Becker multiple times.

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Both men later died at a hospital. The shooting brought dozens of police officers to the scene.

Police said in an email that evidence and witnesses indicate Becker felt he was overcharged when he brought a vehicle to Stout’s for service in 2021. He went to the shop Wednesday “with the intent to shoot the victim in retaliation for the perceived wrong.”

Authorities said Becker had recently been in a car crash that left him depressed, according to family members.

Largo is located just west of Tampa.

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