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Officer Charles Lee Eustes was St. Petersburg’s eleventh officer to be killed in the line of duty. He was born on April 19, 1941, in Guildord County, North Carolina and was only 26 years old at time of death.
On September 24, 1967 Officer Charles Eustes responded as backup to another officer dispatched to a domestic quarrel on Seventh Avenue South. Arriving ahead of the primary officer, Eustes heard a woman moaning inside the residence. When he attempted to enter and assist her, his way was blocked by a male resident. A struggle ensued. The suspect pulled the officer’s gun from a department issued cross draw holster during the struggle. After being hit once and seriously wounded the Officer Eustes attempted to crawl out of harm’s way. The suspect then shot Officer Eustes several more times killing him. The man was later arrested and convicted of murder.
His survivors include his wife, Jane Eustes Schwartz and two children. Let us remember Officer Eustes and his contribution to the Department. He will continue to be a hero to all of us, having given his life to the service of the St. Petersburg Police Department.