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    Argument ends in murder-suicide

    A man kills himself after shooting his girlfriend, who wanted to break off a stormy five-year relationship.

    By TAMARA LUSH, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published April 10, 2002


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    DOVER -- A woman was shot by her boyfriend at point-blank range Tuesday night as she sat in a Jeep parked at a golf and country club in east Hillsborough County, authorities said.

    She died instantly. The boyfriend then turned the gun on himself. He was flown to Tampa General Hospital, where he died a short time later.

    The murder-suicide ended a five-year relationship fraught with arguments and violence, authorities said.

    Theresa Vanguilder, 48, was trying to break up with her boyfriend, whose name was not released late Tuesday pending notification of next of kin.

    Early Tuesday evening, the boyfriend, who was in his 50s, walked to Vanguilder's home at 2120 Ridgemore Road in Valrico. Vanguilder wasn't home, authorities said, but he started to argue with her 17-year-old daughter.

    According to Hillsborough Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter, the argument "turned physical," but the teen was able to calm the man down. Vanguilder arrived home and said she would drive the boyfriend to his house.

    On the way, the couple argued, deputies said.

    Vanguilder's daughter went to a friend's house and called the Sheriff's Office, telling them about her fight with the man.

    Meanwhile, Vanguilder and her boyfriend pulled into the parking lot of the Diamond Hill Golf and Country Club at 13115 Sydney Road, where they continued arguing.

    A handful of golfers saw the shooting, which happened about 8:15 p.m.

    Greg Chavis, who had just finished golfing with his three friends, was putting his clubs in the back of his pickup truck when he heard screaming and a horn blaring from a blue Jeep Cherokee parked nearby.

    Chavis started to walk toward the Jeep and heard two shots. He saw a man in the passenger seat of the Jeep pointing a gun at the woman.

    "We heard three more rounds," Chavis said. "I watched the whole thing. I watched him put the bullets in her and in himself."

    Chavis and his buddies ducked behind his truck and started screaming "Call 911!"

    He didn't move until deputies arrived about five minutes later.

    "I didn't know if he was still able to shoot," Chavis said.

    After officers arrived, Chavis approached the Jeep and saw that the woman had been shot "at least three times" in the chest.

    The man was covered in blood, Chavis said, and also had gunshot wounds to the chest. It appeared he had used a semiautomatic gun.

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