GLADES COUNTY, Fla. - An apparent love triangle is to blame for a fatal shooting in the rural community of Muse in Glades County, about 10 miles northeast of Labelle. The state attorney is trying to decide whether the shooting was justifiable self-defense, or a crime.
"Well, love triangles happen everywhere, in big cities and small places like Muse. They happen all over the place," said 74-year old Ethel Binford, who lives near the shooting location. "It is just a shame because I hate to see anyone lose their life."
The Glades Sheriff's office confirms 42-year old Austin Stem was estranged from his wife Earline. She was romantically involved with 32-year old Garrett Chapman. Stem came to Chapman's home in rural Muse, and came inside to confront Earline in the kitchen of the home. Chapman got a handgun from his bedroom and shot and killed Stem. It's not known whether Stem had a weapon.
"It is sad because it was a young family, and their two children were at the house when it happened," said Binford.
The Glades Sheriff says it could take a month for the state attorney to review evidence and rule on the incident. Chapman is not under arrest and has not been charged with a crime. Funeral services for Austin Stem will be held in LaBelle on Saturday.