SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A North Port man is now behind bars after his girlfriend’s family members say he shot and killed her, staging the incident to look like an attempted suicide.
According to North Port police, officers were called to the home of 39-year-old Clinton Pittman, located in the 2200 block of Yancy Street, Tuesday morning for a possible suicide attempt.
After arriving, officers say they found a woman on her back with a gunshot wound to the left side of her head. The female victim, later identified by family members and neighbors as Chelsea Nandor, was found holding an AR-15 short barrel gun in her left hand, a release from the police department said.
Nandor was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
Family members say she was a mother of three.
Pittman was taken to the North Port Police Department where he was interviewed about the situation.
A video clip found by police showed Pittman exiting the back bedroom door and throwing a handgun into a wooded area next to his house.
Police say Pittman was the only adult in the home who had access to a firearm.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives say they determined that the injuries were not self-inflicted.
“It is clear that this individual tried to stage this incident to look like something it wasn’t,” said Josh Taylor, a spokesman for the North Port Police Department. “Typically our detectives are very good at putting those pieces together when things don’t add up. Their ‘Spidey senses’ go up and that is exactly what happened here.”
Police say Pittman is believed to have shot Nandor in her head and staged it to look like a suicide by placing the AR-15 in her hand.
Neighbors say Nandor was all-around a nice person, from her smile to her personality.
“It’s heartbreaking,” David Beaulieu said. “It’s just terrible. It is hard to even think about.”
Pittman has been charged with homicide, tampering with evidence, and two counts of possession of a firearm as a felon.