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Paul Bouler, 49, Found Dead of Self-Inflicted Gunshot at Varn Park After an Argument

| May 12, 2013

Varn Park is essentially a parking lot fronting on broad access to the ocean, north of Flagler Beach. (© FlaglerLive)

Varn Park is essentially a parking lot fronting on broad access to the ocean, north of Flagler Beach. (© FlaglerLive)

At 7:40 p.m. Saturday, a Flagler County deputy was dispatched to 14 Elder Drive in Palm Coast. There had been a verbal disturbance there between Scarlet Bouler, 41, and her husband Paul Bouler, 49.

On his way to Elder Drive, deputy Alfonzo Dillar got word from the dispatch center that Rev. Alberto Esposito of Santa Maria del Mar Catholic church in Flagler Beach had called on behalf of Scarlet, who was at the church with him, and who had told him of the verbal altercation.

Scarlet, according to a police report, said she had “left the residence to pick up food from McDonald’s and when she returned, the children told her [Paul] walked out of the house concealing an unknown object to the side of his leg.” Scarlet was worried that the unknown object may have been the handgun, a .38-caliber revolver, stored in the master bedroom.

A deputy went to the church to speak with the priest and with Scarlet Bouler while Dillard and another deputy went to 14 Elder Drive in an attempt to locate Paul. A dark-green passenger car was there, backed into the driveway. It was Bouler’s daughter’s car. There was “no response to the knocks at the front door and no one observed inside of the residence from looking in through the windows,” a report states. “From the window view, the residence appeared normal with no signs of a disturbance.” The couple’s children were with their mother, at the church.

The initial call to Elder Drive was changed from a disturbance to a “welfare check,” a police report states, “due to the victim never being identified with a weapon” and never being heard “making threats toward himself or anyone else.”

Paul’s car, a black Honda Civic, was not in the driveway at the couple’s home.

An hour and a half later, deputy Christopher Santoianni was patrolling and conducting a security check at Varn Park, the small, oceanfront county park on State Road A1A, 5 miles north of Santa Maria del Mar church.

A black Honda Civic was parked there. It was the only car in the parking lot, just north of the entrance, to the left of a walk-over that goes down to the beach.

“Initially I approached the vehicle from the south side and didn’t observe anyone in the vehicle,” the deputy reports. “After approaching from the north side I saw a white male slumped over in the drivers seat.” The deputy, who had been aware of the Bouler matter, ran a check of the license tag. It proved to be Paul Bouler’s car. When the deputy approached the car from the passenger side, he saw the telltale signs of a self-inflicted shooting. “I also saw a revolver in his right hand which was lying on his lap. I then backed away from the vehicle and waited for back up units to arrive.”

Paul Bouler was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:25 p.m., with Engine 41 of Flagler County Fire Rescue standing by. Medical Examiner Investigator Kenny Moore later responded to the scene, along with Flagler County Sheriff’s detectives. Saxon’s towed the Honda Civic.

By then, Scarlet had returned to her home on Elder Drive. A call was placed to Father Esposito who, along with Linda Blum, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s victim’s advocate, went to Elder Drive to inform Scarlet of her husband’s death. Scarlet, a police report concludes, “was transported to Florida Hospital Flagler in reference to a history of heart problems.”

Bouler, a lawyer, had been teaching at Seminole State College in Sanford where, according to reviews on Rate My Professors, he was exacting but popular. “This professor is great, he knows what he is talking about rarely using the book,” goes a review written just two weeks ago, “he is very understanding and takes time to ensure you understand. great prof.”

“Amazing professor for any law class. Really funny and laid back. Really tries to be in sync with his students. Almost impossible to do poorly in his class, unless you are a bum,” went another.

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34 Responses for “Paul Bouler, 49, Found Dead of Self-Inflicted Gunshot at Varn Park After an Argument”

  1. confidential says:

    Devastating end for an argument…God help that family and forgive, redeem and keep Paul by His side.

  2. Cari Garcia says:

    We miss you and love you so much Daddy.

    If anyone comes upon this, please, pray for my family and I.

  3. unknown says:

    paul was a very close friend of mine i worked with him, very sad too hear about, i would of never expected this.. praying for his family and kids

  4. Old friend says:

    Heart-breaking news about this close childhood friend and high school classmate. So many great memories of this smart, funny guy. To end like this is unbelievable and devastating. God, please comfort his family at home and in Florida…

  5. Nikia says:

    So sad. Thoughts and prayers to the family. May God bless Fr Al with the ability to guide them through this difficult time.

  6. Suzanne says:

    My heart breaks to hear of Prof. Bouler’s passing. He was my professor just two weeks ago and to accept his loss is beyond my abilities right now. My prayers are with him and his family. I hope that the Lord may show mercy upon this sweet man who should still be with us.

  7. Nicole says:

    Paul was the sweetest man that I think I have ever met. My heart goes out to his wife melissia and her children. I don’t understand how someone could do this but we didnt know what he was going through in his mind.. I will pray for his family and do anything that I can to help. I love you Melissia Bouler and may god be with you in this tough time.

  8. Arianne Brown says:

    To learn about Paul’s passing was a very sad day! Paul was a great man and always seemed to care about everyone! While working with Paul over the past couple of months I really feel as though I have lost a great friend! I pray for peace and comfort for all his family and friends as well as anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him!

  9. Jill says:

    Thoughts and prayers for the family. My mother chose to end her life this way in 2010. Please know that it was not your fault and that there are so many resources to help you cope with your grief and/or guilt.

  10. Stacey says:

    My heart is hurting so badly over this tragic news. Paul Bouler was my professor and I adored him. I enjoyed every minute I spent in his classes and talked to my family about him often. My high school son even sat through two of his classes with me. I am so glad my son got to meet him. He taught me so much about the law so quickly. I looked forward to listening to him lecture. His dry sense of humor was amazing and would have me laughing so hard. I do not know how I will sit in V105 and not think of him standing up front talking in his perfect Mississippi accent. The world lost an incredible person. I will miss him so very much and will think of him often :(
    My prayers are with his sweet wife and family. I had the honor of meeting her last semester. I’m broken hearted…See you in Heaven Prof. Bouler

    • Pamela says:

      Oh, he definitely had dry wit. :) I agree that V105 will not be the same. I pray Seminole State does SOMETHING to honor this witty, funny, and intelligent man.

  11. Charles Shankle says:

    Great guy, he was my first professor at Seminole State. Took several more classes under him because of his ability to connect with the students. Really looked up to him and will definitely miss him. Love and prayers to the family.

  12. Marie says:

    Paul was indeed a very nice, calm, respectful, polite and mild mannered man. May God comfort the family during this time as only He can. We will never know why but God does. My deepest condolences to the family.

    • Pamela says:


      You have described him perfectly. I could not have said it better myself. Light, LOVE and ANGELS to his family. His students will be there for you!!!


  13. Latasha J says:

    Professor Bouler was one of the best professors I have had. My condolences to his family and friends, he will be truly missed.

  14. Devastated says:

    Professor Bouler was the best professor anyone could ask for. He was kind, understanding, and truly cared for his students. I am in shock that this occurred, and pray for God’s peace to be with his family. He is truly missed. :-(

  15. Jodi Huck says:

    Professor Bouler is one that really got me to stay on the legal studies program st Seminole. Amazing man and I’m still in shock over it all. The world lost a stand up guy this weekend, and my condolences go to his family and friends. Love and prayers to you.

  16. Pamela says:

    I really hope that this message gets to his wife and family. Last year when Prof. Bouler was teaching Wills, Trusts, and Estates, his wife and daughter surprised him with a visit. Prof. Bouler lit up like a Christmas tree when seeing them.

    I came up to him after class. I told him that watching him see his wife was so beautiful. I had rarely seen before the amount of love on a man’s face directed at his wife. I told him that I could tell just by looking at him how much he loved her. He agreed, and was so effusive in his thanks. He was so proud to have you as his wife. He loves you…it was written all over him. Love will always be with you. Hold this close to your heart.

  17. Felisa says:

    Mr Bouler was one of the best teachers ever. He will be missed by everyone. The world lost a great person.

  18. Nicole M says:

    My heart is so heavy right, Professor Bouler was the best professor I ever had. He truly cared for the students, and made the class interesting and made you want to learn. The World has truly lost a precious gem. We love you and will miss that southern drawl of yours. you will forever be in our hearts. One of God’s angels has been called home. My prayers go out to the family.

  19. Kristen says:

    Mr.Bouler was by far my favorite professor at SSC. I took 2 of his classes and was looking forward to taking 2 more in the fall. He was one of the most genuine people I have ever had the luxury of meeting. The news of this is tragic and I am still in utter shock and disbelief. My heart goes out to his family here and in Mississippi. He was a very loved man and will be deeply missed on campus.

  20. Lindsay says:

    I’m having a very difficult time wrapping my head around what has happened. I can’t even begin to imagine what the Bouler family is going through at this time. My heart aches for them. I had Prof. Bouler for Real Property 1 semester ago and he was such a GREAT professor. A very kind and caring man. I hope his family knows that he loved them dearly. He always talked about his wife and kids in class (in his Mississippi accent of course! ) And he was always smiling when he mentioned his family. He will be GREATLY missed around campus. Thoughts and prayers going out to the Bouler family along with my deepest condolances.

  21. Donald says:

    Paul was my cousin, and will be missed dearly. This incident is very much out of character; it doesn’t sound like him at all.

  22. Juan Moyers says:

    I heard the sad news yesterday in class by Prof. Camneker it was like being hit in the stomach by a train. Prof. Bouler was an extremely wonderful man, professor and mentor. I had him for several classes the last one Real property in the fall, I would always ask him ” Prof. Bouler do you think i can make it in law school and he would every time, study hard and be consistent in what your goal is, beleive in yourself and you will always be the best”. Those words will always stay with me. I agree wiht my fellow students, he loved his family so much and it was so evident in the way he would light up speaking of them. My condolences and prayers to his wife and children. Words can not express what a great man he was. May you rest in peace Prof. Bouler, see you on the flip side. Football season will not be the same without you.

  23. Pam Bouler says:

    This is truly a nightmare. Paul was a moral, kind, intelligent young man. his family’s heart has a hard burden. His mother and father are deeply hurt as the rest of his family. Paul came from a Christian family with great honor and devotation for God. I ask prayers for his entire family and may the Lord take the pain and hurt away knowing Paul is in a better place. This IS a trult iunexpected ordeal for anyone who knew him

  24. Stacey says:

    Unwillingly, I went to room V105 all week for class. I was way too sad and paralyzed to go, but i knew you would want all of your students to go and carry on. I could imagine you in the classroom and in the hallway. I saw students crying and heartbroken for you. I heard the gasps when students heard the news. I heard students talking about their adoration and shock. It has been so very difficult for so many of us that knew and loved you. Even though I was one of your loudest, most outspoken students, I wish I had told you even louder how much we all adored and appreciated you. God gave you an amazing gift as a lawyer and a professor, and I’m so sad others won’t be able to know you and learn from you. For days after i learned of your passing, I couldn’t remember the details of your face or hear your voice. I’m not sure why? But thankfully today, as I was in classroom V105, I remembered your face and voice and accent and humor. I could picture you walking around the room, picking up the law books and your hands as you pointed to what we needed to learn. I laughed to myself at how I had to zoom my research on my laptop to 250% for you to be able to see the words, but you could hear any mumble I said from all the way across the room. Since learning I will never take another class from you, I felt like my pathway to law school was shaken. As if my legs had been taken out from under me, but I will carry on. I will never forget you professor Bouler. I will never forget all you taught me. I am heartbroken I won’t be able to see you when I graduate law school or call you when I get my first case, but I will never forget you. I am blessed to have known you.

    • Jodi Huck says:

      Stacey I feel the same way. You put it so perfectly, he was a great man. Our legal program will never be the same. We are all blessed to have had him our lives.

  25. Stacey says:

    Ps – our clock is still at 12:00. As you said, it’s midnight or noon. Whichever we wanted. Hope it stays that way forever. And we also had a weird experience with the camera overhead. Wasn’t a huge spider thank goodness. Lol. Your law briefcase will always be a big spider in our class

  26. dena says:

    I just learned of this tragic event today and I am truly saddened by the news. Professor Bouler was a great and wonderful man. I don’t know and can’t even begin to imagine what his family is going through. I pray that God is with them during this time of sadness and please know that Professor Bouler was truly loved by his students and will be missed. We will never forget him and his Mississippi accent.
    Lord, I pray that you are with Professor Boulder’s family as they endure this tragic event in their lives, I pray that you reach your gentle and mighty hands down to them and that you gently wrap your arms around them to comfort them in their time of need, I pray that you provide them with strength and your loving presence.

  27. Michael Ray says:

    Paul was a former student of mine when he was in high school. He was also my quarterback on our football team. He was an outstanding young man that meant a whole lot to me and my family. Paul’s father, mother, and sister are all people, that like Paul, were and are special in the eyes of God. When my daughter, Betsy, lost her kidney function, one of the first to show their love to us was Paul’s family. One of the last times I got a chance to visit with Paul was at the First Baptist Church in Greenville, MS., during a Sunday morning worship service. Our world lost a great person, but I lost my quarterback.

  28. Unknown says:

    I knew Mr. Bouler from Northwest Community College in MS. My friends and I called him Mr. B. He was a great instructor and I learned so much from him. He knew what he was talking about because he hardly ever use the textbook. I am so hurt and upset to hear what happen to him. I wish he would have stayed in MS. I honestly don’t believe he would do something like this. RIP Mr. B

  29. Hannah says:

    Why am I learning about Professor Bouler now? This information makes me feel so heartbroken. It doesn’t sound like Professor Bouler at all! I had him for 3 classes and he was always so kind and supportive of me. He was the one who made learning about about law easy and fun. Best teacher ever! He made me want to pursue the law field even more. Rest in peace mister bouler. I wish I could have been able to tell you how great of a person you were and how many lives you have impacted.

  30. Elizabeth says:

    I was signing up for classes this spring semester and I specifically put his name in an advanced search and nothing came up, I literally asked every Professor for him only to discover this tragedy. He was the first law professor that I took and I learned so much. He had a way of explaining things to make you understand easily. He was a great guy and very understanding, he spoke about his wonderful wife and kids all the time. My condolences to his family he will be truly missed

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