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Brother shoots brother during father's wake

9:42 AM, Aug 14, 2012   |    comments
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Police continue searching for the missing brother, Phillip Stavrakis, who took off after the shooting.

TARPON SPRINGS, Florida - Distraught family members waited in the heat behind yellow tape, their home an active crime scene Monday. It's where, just hours earlier, the family was mourning the death of their elderly father, Steve Stavrakis, before police say one of the family's sons, 54-year-old Phillip, opened fire on his own brother.

"Though the grieving the family was all meeting here today at the mother's residence, and in between that time, the two brothers got into an altercation, which lead to this act of violence," said Capt. Jeff Young of the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

That brother, 53-year-old John Stavrakis, a teacher at Tarpon Springs Middle School, was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center where he was in critical condition Monday night.

"I know he was taken in serious condition. He was shot multiple times, once in the abdomen," said Capt. Young.

Family members were too distraught to talk on camera, but told 10 News Phillip was suffering from health problems and was taking medication, which may have contributed to his violent behavior.

"We do believe this was isolated to this situation right here," Capt. Young told reporters. "They are brothers, this was a family altercation. We don't feel he's a threat to anyone on the outside."

Neighbor Carrie Mowrey says she feels for the family and all they must be going through.

"I couldn't imagine. I don't know how I would handle it," said Mowrey. "It's just sad for them to have to go through it last night, and then someone could pass away again today just over an argument."

Police continue searching for the missing brother who took off after the shooting. Phillip Stavrakis was last seen driving away from the home in a 1999 Silver Cadillac with a Florida license plate 806-MGR. A BOLO has been issued to other law enforcement agencies all across Florida.

Anyone with information on Phillip's whereabouts is asked to contact Tarpon Springs Police at 727-938-2840 or call 911.


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