MANATEE -- The former girlfriend of a man who shot her before ultimately turning the gun on himself is recovering from her injuries and expected to make a full recovery.
Shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday, traffic in downtown Bradenton and on the Green Bridge into Palmetto came to a halt, as the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and the Bradenton and Palmetto police departments worked to investigate what had unfolded.
Earlier in the evening, the 34-year-old woman had agreed to meet with her former boyfriend, Kristopher Foster, 31, according to the Manatee Sheriff's Office. The former couple were sitting in her car in the 2700 block of 31st Avenue East in Palmetto when the meeting turned violent and Foster shot her.
"She thought he was taking her to the hospital then," sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow said. "He changed his mind, I guess."
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When the victim realized they weren't stopping at the hospital, she bailed out of the car near Ninth Street West and Manatee Avenue West in downtown Bradenton. In a nearby car was a sheriff's office homicide detective on his way home.
Detective Jeff Bliss made sure he got help for the victim, before following Foster who had quickly turned north onto Ninth Avenue West and crossed the Green Bridge into Palmetto.
"Bliss started following him and that's when he swerved off the road," Bristow said.
Within moments, other
deputies arrived to assist in the 400 block of Eighth Avenue West, Palmetto, near a Marathon gas station where Foster had stopped.
"Bliss thought he had seen a gunshot, sure enough he had," Bristow added.
Foster died from the self-inflicted gunshot, according to investigators.
Now the former girlfriend is continuing to recover from her injuries. She is listed in stable condition at a hospital.
Foster was a registered sex offender after having being convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child in 2008, according to court records.
While working at the Burlington Coat Factory store in Bradenton, the then-24-year-old Foster met a 15-year-old girl and got her phone number. In calls made to the girl, Foster tried to convince her to have sex with him, claiming he was only 19 and urging her not to tell anyone, according to court records.
Initially his conviction was withheld when he pleaded later that year and the judge placed him on sex-offender probation. But Foster later violated his probation twice. He was convicted of the initial lewd and lascivious offense and ultimately served 17 months of a three-year prison sentence, records show.
Foster's criminal history also includes convictions for charges of solicitation of a prostitute, possession cannabis and violation of probation.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.