NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (WESH/WFLA) — A 25-year-old suspect is dead and an officer was shot during a pursuit Saturday evening in New Smyrna Beach.
Authorities said the incident began when Port Orange police officers attempted to stop a vehicle that was speeding near Nova And Spruce Creek roads. The driver, later identified as 25-year-old Matthew Thomas of Holly Hill, did not stop, and officers followed the vehicle into New Smyrna Beach.
Stop sticks were deployed near Turnbull Street and Industrial Park Avenue, resulting in the vehicle crashing into a Uhaul storage facility. Officers said the driver got out of the vehicle and fired a gun at police, hitting New Smyrna Beach police officer Ralph Hunnefeld.
Officials said Hunnefeld as well as New Smyrna Beach officers David McCallister and Margaret Deal returned fire and killed the suspect.
FDLE is investigating the shooting.
Thomas had a lengthy criminal history. He was released from prison just two months ago, and had been arrested at least 25 times.
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