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St. Petersburg woman fatally shot outside home

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Published:   |   Updated: May 3, 2013 at 04:56 PM
ST. PETERSBURG -

A woman was fatally shot in her driveway early this morning.

Karen Gunther, 47, of 5263 Fifth Avenue South, died soon after at Bayfront Medical Center. She was out with a friend less than an hour before she was shot, according to St. Petersburg police.

Her next-door neighbor, Robert Savell, and his girlfriend were watching a movie when they heard the gunshots a little before 1 a.m.

Savell rushed over and heard Gunther moaning, likely to herself. “I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot.”

He rushed back home to grab a telephone. Then he and his father, Bob Savell, 62, went back to check on her.

Gunther was lying on the ground, on the driver’s side of her Eclipse, with the door still open.

Savell tried to stop Gunther’s bleeding with some rags; but it was tough to tell where she’d been shot because it was dark, and there was so much blood.

The 911 dispatcher and Savell’s father asked how many times she’d been shot. Gunther held out two fingers

“She said she was gonna die,” Savell said. “I said, ‘No, you’re going to be OK.”

The Savells learned Gunther had died about 5 a.m. from a TV news report.

So far, investigators have no suspects, St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

In 2005, someone stole Gunther’s Jeep Liberty while it was parked in front of her house, according to police reports. She bought the single-story, 1950s home in 2002, property records show.

Bob Savell described Gunther as a “very nice person,” who was quick to lend him her lawn mower and who loved motorcycles. She got into a motorcycle wreck a couple of months ago and, like the Savells, was unemployed, he said.

Louis Amerosa had fallen out of touch with Gunther, whom he divorced in 1989.

“I just feel really bad,” said Amerosa. “Her life wasn’t easy, and it ended very sadly.”


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