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Airport shooting suspect dies at hospital

Published July 5, 2005

A man shot last week by police following a bloody confrontation with his ex-girlfriend at Tampa International Airport died Sunday at St. Joseph's Hospital, according to a hospital spokesman.

William Gaul, 51, died in the intensive care unit, six days after paramedics rushed him into the emergency room's trauma unit with four bullet wounds.

Police say Gaul shot Lori Nielsen, his 38-year-old former girlfriend, as she tried to escape from his blue Dodge pickup in the airport's parking garage. Officers saw Gaul shoot Nielsen and ordered him to drop his gun. They shot at him, hitting him once in the face, after he turned his gun on them and fired, according to police.

Nielsen, a Port Charlotte resident who had just dropped her three children off for a flight out of TIA, died at the scene.

Gaul, also of Port Charlotte, was previously convicted of three domestic related crimes in Connecticut in 1996: kidnapping, unlawful restraint and violation of a protection order, state records show. He served nearly five years in prison and was released in 2001.

Gaul has three grown children, as well as four brothers and sisters.

[Last modified July 5, 2005, 12:12:11]

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