Suspect in Manatee shooting was ex-convict

MANATEE -- A shooting suspect killed himself Wednesday night after deputies arrived at the home in which he was hiding, the sheriff’s office reports.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office this morning identified the dead man as convicted burglar Kesler Dufrene, 23.

Dufrene had been released from prison on Sept. 27, after serving more than 3 1/2 years in prison on convictions for burglary and grand theft of a motor vehicle in Manatee County. The offenses had occurred in July 2005 and July 2006, respectively, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

The ordeal began at about 6:40 p.m. when deputies responded to a shooting in the 400 block of McArthur Avenue in south Manatee, according to the sheriff’s office.

Dufrene shot a 42-year-old man in the upper body when he was confronted for walking around the outside of an empty home the neighbor had been keeping an eye on, according to Dave Bristow, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office. The victim had been carrying an unloaded shotgun.

The victim gave deputies a description of the suspect before being airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center, according to Lt. Sean Felton. He is listed in stable condition.

After the shooting, Dufrene went to a nearby residence in the 7000 block of Claries Drive that is believed to belong to an acquaintance of his girlfriend, Bristow said.

“We got canine out here, we got multiple units, we go to this residence, people come to the door and they say, ‘Yes, so-and-so was here. He’s in the back. He came a little while ago,’ ” Bristow said. “At that time, all of a sudden, we hear a gunshot coming from the back of the house.”

That’s when they evacuated the home and the SWAT team was called in.

By about 10:15 p.m. it was all over.

“SWAT made their entry and found (him) dead of an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound” to the head, Bristow said.

Neighbors near the Claries Drive home were evacuated as a precaution, according to Bristow, and were allowed to go back home at about 10:40 p.m.