LARGO – Michael Schmidt, 22, of Seminole was angry that John Black, 36, of Largo peeked over the wall at his girlfriend while she was tanning Feb. 19.
The next day, Black’s girlfriend, Kristen Gannon, 41, was shot in the leg. Largo Police Department detectives have reportedly linked that shooting back to Schmidt, whom they arrested for conspiracy to commit murder and attempted homicide June 17.
But Schmidt wasn’t the one with the gun, they said. Instead, Justin Dahlstrom, 20, of Clearwater had been hired to shoot Black. He shot Gannon instead.
Through their subsequent investigation, Largo detectives obtained a warrant for attempted homicide on Dahlstrom. The Sheriff’s Office arrested him May 24.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office investigated the voyeurism reported Feb. 19 at the LA Tan at 10390 Seminole Blvd. Black and the victim, Schmidt’s girlfriend, were customers that day, explained agency spokeswoman Cristen Rensel.
The victim saw Black looking at her and asked, “What are you doing?” Rensel said.
Deputies reported on the accusation but didn’t arrest Black, instead letting the State Attorney’s Office decide to prosecute Black.
That wasn’t good enough for Schmidt. Pretending to be a deputy investigating the LA Tan case, he called the Black’s ex-wife and asked for contact information for Black. She gave him a phone number, Rensel said. Then she called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.
Meanwhile, Schmidt made several calls to the same person the night of Feb. 19, according to Schmidt’s cellphone records. Largo detectives were able to trace those calls to a 24-year-old man named Frank Robinson.
Schmidt tried to pay Robinson to shoot Black, detectives reported. Robinson wouldn’t do it. But he agreed to make the offer to Dahlstrom, police said.
Largo detectives said they were able to confirm that Schmidt met with Dahlstrom prior to the shooting. They also reported that he gave Dahlstrom the firearm that was used in the shooting.
Dahlstrom agreed to shoot Black for money, they said.
At around 5:30 a.m. Feb. 20, a man showed up at the door of the Fountains of Largo apartment, 13125 Wilcox Road, where Black and Gannon lived. The suspect, later identified as Dahlstrom, spoke with Gannon. Then he shot her in the leg. Gannon was taken to the hospital for the non-fatal wound.
Moments before the shooting, at 5:25 a.m., deputies arrested Schmidt for impersonating a law enforcement officer, a felony. Largo detectives later interviewed Schmidt about the shooting, but he denied any involvement.
Then, with the help of the Pinellas State Attorney's Office, Largo police obtained a warrant for conspiracy to commit murder for Schmidt June 17. The Largo police arrested him without incident the same day.
Detective Brendan Arlington was the lead investigator on the case.