Attempted Murder-Suicide in Live Oak
Late Saturday night, a well-known member of the Live Oak community was rescued from his burning home after being shot and Clyde Sperring's life was saved because of a 9-1-1 call and three brave deputies.
Clyde Sperring is the former principal of Suwannee High School and a retired school administrator. He and his wife, Beth, were going through a divorce, but according to Suwannee County Sheriff, Tony Cameron, there isn't a history of violence.
However, the Sheriff believes that Beth Sperring shot her husband while he slept, set the house on fire and then turned the gun on herself.
Sheriff Cameron said, "Clyde told the dispatcher that his wife had shot him, that he was in the bed and he couldn't move and his house was on fire."
The 9-1-1 dispatcher stayed on the phone with Sperring, who had been shot in the chest and shoulder, until help arrived.
Cameron said, "They could hear him calling for help in the room."
When the deputies arrived at the home it was engulfed in flames. They rushed to the back of the home and pulled Clyde Sperring to safety through a window.
Beth Sperring's body was found in the burned living room, with the gun she used to shoot herself in the head. The deputies were treated for smoke inhalation, but they finished working their shift.
Cameron said, "These guys are tough, they go back to work...they had a little trouble with smoke inhalation, but they continued to work the shift that night."
Clyde Sperring is fortunate to be alive, but his family and the community who knows them are mourning.
Frank Davis, Pastor of The Melody Chrisitan Center in Live Oak said, "It's a terrible tragedy, our community is very small and close knit and everyone knows one another...when something like this happens it affects the entire community."
The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office is still trying to determine why this happened and toxicology testing is being conducted on Beth Sperring's body. Cameron said, "I know they were going through a divorce, which is very trying on anyone and living in the same house while going through a divorce would make that much more trying and I don't understand how it got to that point, but sometimes things happen."
Clyde Sperring still has a bullet lodged near his spine and has paralysis in his left leg. He is being treated at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.
I spoke with Sperring's uncle, Bo Sperring, and he said the outpouring of support from the community means a lot to the family during this tragic time.
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