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Police: St. Pete motel ex-security officer shot clerk

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ST PETERSBURG -

St. Petersburg Police were investigating a shooting at a motel in North St. Petersburg Tuesday morning.

SPPD officers responded to the New Plaza Motel on 34th Street North around 4:30 a.m. They told us, the motel night clerk Jerome Horacek was shot there.

According to the police report, the former motel security officer Anthony Graig Taylor, 45, shot at the motel clerk multiple times Tuesday morning.

Taylor had lost his job at the motel about two months ago because he had confrontations with the motel patrons, witnesses told the detectives.

The motel management allowed him to lease one of the rooms, but he was behind on his rent payments so they told him he was going to be evicted, according to the police report.

Detectives said it was unclear why Taylor shot at Horacek, since Horacek was not responsible for Taylor's termination. They believe Taylor might have been trying to rob the clerk. The clerk was running away from the office when Taylor fired multiple shots at him. 

As SPPD detectives converged on the motel after the shooting, the former security officer ran toward the 3500 block of 3rd Avenue North.

The police K9 unit tracked Taylor and police found him with an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound at a vacant lot at 3462 3rd Ave. North. He died at the scene.

The motel night clerk Jerome Horacek had a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his upper body. Paramedics took Horacek to Bayfront Medical Center. Doctors expected him to survive.

Detectives continue to investigate this case.

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