PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County deputy has been hospitalized in stable condition after he was shot during an on-foot pursuit on Sunday night following an attempted car burglary.
According to St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, deputies were dispatched around 6:52 p.m. for reports of a vehicle burglary in the 6300 block of 60th Avenue North.
Police stated that a witness noticed the car burglary suspect and went to confront him, taking video of the suspect before police arrived.
The suspect then fled northbound and was spotted by police at 62nd Avenue before he took off once again – this time running southbound.
According to police, the K-9 handler and sergeant jumped several fences chasing the suspect. They spotted the suspect near a church at 6300 62nd Avenue North before they ended up in a backyard on 60th Avenue when the K-9 picked up on something.
Holloway said the suspect was waiting for them and jumped out, firing several shots at the K-9 and its deputy handler.
“The suspect was waiting for them,” Holloway said. “As the handler and the K-9 cleared the building, that’s when the suspect shot at the deputy, striking him several times. Then he turns his gun towards the sergeant, shot several times at the sergeant. The sergeant returned fire. At this point, I can tell you, the suspect is deceased.”
The sergeant was not hit during the gunfire. Witnesses heard the scene unfold.
“All of a sudden we heard eight or nine gunshots,” said Mark Burke. “Then all of a sudden the cops where flying everywhere, they were coming from everywhere.”
According to police, the deputy was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where he’s in stable condition. His name was not released. The K-9 was not hurt during the shooting.
The sergeant was also not hurt and remained on the scene. He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation. The Pinellas County Use Of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force is looking into the shooting.
At this time, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office did not release the identity of the deputy or the suspect.
Chief Holloway said car burglaries are a call law enforcement gets all the time around this area, a fact the witnesses 8 On Your Side spoke with confirmed. Holloway added if you are a witness in this kind of situation, alert the police and keep an eye on the situation, but do not confront a potentially dangerous person.
More information regarding the shooting will be released on Monday, according to Holloway.
This is a developing story that will be updated with more information as we receive it.