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  • Legislature 2001

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    Gunman had 'no hope for future'

    ©Associated Press

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 1, 2001

    HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- In a handwritten note he left before he started gunning down people in the lobby of his apartment building Friday, Stuart L. Williams said he couldn't "take the pain any more" and felt "no hope for future."

    Williams, 34, a tenant at the Town House Apartments on Hollywood's busy Young Circle, left the three-page letter in his apartment before going downstairs to the first-floor lobby and opening fire about 10:45 a.m. with a five-shot revolver, police said.

    He killed tenants Dawn Garcia, 20, and Ben Neivert, 81, and wounded building manager Amanda Scheiber, 21, and Jelena Narjanovic, 25, police said. He also fired several rounds at police officers as they attempted to rescue the victims. Then he killed himself with a shot to the head, police said.

    "I'm very sorry. Please forgive," Williams wrote in the note addressed to his family. "I can't take the pain any more. I'm so sorry. Good bye. I hope you all succeed in the future.

    "I'm at my end. What I'm feeling cannot be put into words. I just feel no hope for future. (All I) ever wanted was to go fishing on a lake and try to be happy. Without money, this can't happen. Love, Stuart."

    Narjanovic, a Yugoslavian immigrant recovering from a bullet wound to her head, was released Sunday from Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.

    Scheiber, who is 12 weeks pregnant, remained in critical condition Monday. She had been taken off life support and was able to answer questions by nodding her head, her husband, Steven Scheiber, said Sunday.

    The shootings were first reported at 10:46 a.m. Friday in a 911 call from the wounded Amanda Scheiber, saying, "I've been shot! I've been shot!" Police arrived about 90 seconds later and exchanged shots with Williams as they sealed off the area.

    Garcia, a journalism student, was on her way to work when she was killed. Neivert was pacing about near tenant mailboxes, passing the time before his morning bridge game, when he was shot.

    A SWAT team stormed the low-income apartment building about noon, finding Williams dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, police said.

    "Only I am to blame for whatever pain I caused in the past," Williams wrote.

    -- Information from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel was used in this report.

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