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The Syracuse Post-Standard, NY
Thursday, April 11, 1991
Author: SEAN KIRST The Post-Standard
George and Marlene Holcomb spent Tuesday afternoon bracing for the wake of Carrie Jean Carlo — a 16-year-old girl shot to death Saturday in suburban Tampa by their son, Scott, who police say then used his gun to end his own life.
Yet the Holcombs — who raised their three children in East Syracuse before retiring to Palm Beach, Fla., in 1986 — said they felt no hesitation about showing up at the wake of their son’s longtime girlfriend.
“We loved that girl, too,” Marlene Holcomb said. “We just feel real bad. She was a good kid, very compassionate. She came from a broken home and she was like a mother to her two little sisters. This is all very sad.”
Holcomb’s mother joined with former East Syracuse neighbors and friends of her son in describing Scott as a “very normal kid, very happy-go-lucky,” who enjoyed an almost storybook suburban childhood until he left with his parents for Florida.
About one year ago, however, Marlene Holcomb said her son’s moods began swinging between gloom and exultation.
On his family’s urging, Holcomb, 23, consulted with doctors, who diagnosed him as manic depressive.
His mother said he was hospitalized last June for his illness, and for a time he seemed to be recovering.
But she said her son often complained about constant fatigue caused by his medication, which he took to combat depression .
And Marlene Holcomb said her son’s frustration was heightened a few weeks ago, when he was unable to win a seat in the accounting classes he hoped to attend.
Throughout these troubles, Hillsborough County deputies say, Holcomb’s relationship was crumbling with Carlo, a high school junior and his girlfriend of three years.
Marlene Holcomb said her son mentioned that Carlo wanted the freedom to date others. Rob Ure, 24, of East Syracuse said Holcomb, his best friend from childhood, mentioned those problems in a telephone conversation a few hours before the shooting.
“I talked to him on the phone the day he died and he told me he and this girl had just broken up …,” Ure said.
Deputies said Holcomb made statements in Florida that he couldn’t live without Carlo.
According to Sgt. Bill Davis, a homicide investigator with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department, Holcomb parked his truck at 10:35 p.m. Saturday about two blocks away from Carlo’s Florida Circle home in Apollo Beach.
When Carlo pulled into her driveway after working a shift at a nearby supermarket, Holcomb was waiting for her, Davis said. He said Holcomb climbed into the rear of the car, shot her once in the back of the head with a .38-caliber handgun, shot her again in the lower back as she fell out the door and then turned the gun on himself.
In Onondaga County, his friends had trouble linking their memories of a young boy who covered his room with baseball paraphernalia to the perpetrator of a murder-suicide.
“He was always special, very unique,” Ure said, adding he often urged Scott Holcomb to move back to Onondaga County. But his friend would respond that he had plans to build a career for himself in Florida — and, most important, that his girlfriend was there.
Record Number: 9104110322
Copyright, 1991, The Herald Company