Wife dies of gunshot wound

Published May 16, 2007

TARPON SPRINGS - Three days after she was shot by her husband in an attempted murder-suicide, a 48-year-old woman died Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Polly Chan died about 1:15 p.m. at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where she had been flown Saturday after Tarpon Springs police responded to a 911 call to her home at 1848 Briland St., police said.

Chan was admitted to the hospital with an apparent gunshot wound.

At the home Saturday, police also found Chan's husband, Adolf, dead, shot in the head.

Police said it appeared Adolf Chan, 47, first shot his wife and then turned the 9mm handgun on himself.

News of Polly Chan's death jolted those who knew her well.

Kathy Middleton had been tutoring Chan, a Chinese immigrant, in English for the past year at the Safety Harbor Library.

Middleton spoke to Chan on Saturday morning, she said. Chan told Middleton she and her husband, a computer programmer, had been bickering all night.

"She was so down and tired, so I said, 'Get out of the house, ' " Middleton recalled from the conversation. "She said, 'I don't have the energy.' "

Middleton said Chan sometimes talked about the couple's problems. Adolf Chan was not physically violent, Middleton said. But the couple often fought over Polly Chan's inability to speak English fluently.

The couple had been in the United States for at least 20 years, and during that time Chan had worked mostly in local Chinese restaurants. She hoped the English tutoring would help her get a better job, Middleton said.

The couple's 15-year-old son, who found his parents after the shooting, remains in temporary foster care with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Nicole Hutcheson can reached at nhutcheson@sptimes.com or 727445-4162.