Auto shop owner and angry customer kill each other in deadly shootout

LARGO, FL – A deadly shooting at a local auto repair shop in Largo, Florida, was reportedly sparked by a disgruntled former customer’s dissatisfaction with services rendered two years prior, according to local law enforcement. The incident, which occurred on Wednesday, resulted in the deaths of two men, including the business owner.

Eugene Frank Becker, 78, is said to have arrived at Stout’s Automotive in a rented vehicle, seeking out the shop’s owner, Jodie Stout, 52. Authorities report that Becker brandished a firearm and shot Stout, who retaliated with his own weapon, hitting Becker multiple times. The exchange of gunfire led to severe injuries for both men, who later succumbed to their wounds at a local hospital.

The incident drew a significant police presence to the scene. Investigators have pieced together that Becker believed he had been overcharged for services when he brought his vehicle to Stout’s Automotive in 2021. This perceived injustice appears to have been the motive behind the fatal confrontation.

Earlier this month, Becker was involved in a car accident in Pinellas Park, which resulted in his hospitalization and the total loss of his vehicle. According to family members, Becker had been dealing with depression and frustration since the accident. Authorities believe that Becker visited the shop on Wednesday with the intention of retaliating against Stout for the perceived overcharge.

This incident marks the third time this month that a minor disagreement has escalated into a fatal shooting in Florida. In separate incidents, disputes over a dog sale and a property line disagreement also led to deadly shootings.

In a separate incident, a former assistant attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office was reported to have stabbed a man on a Tampa Bay highway following a car crash. The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries.