EUSTIS, Fla. (WESH) – The suspect wanted in connection with shooting a police officer in Eustis Thursday afternoon is dead.
Officials with the Eustis Police Department said Capt. Gary Wilheim, who has been with the department for at least 10 years, was shot just after 12:15 p.m. near the Winn-Dixie Plaza on FL-19, State Road 44.
Officials said Wilheim was at the intersection when he heard gunshots and headed toward the parking lot.
As he was pulling into the lot, Jayson Colvin was pulling out. Wilheim followed him, but Colvin pulled over, jumped out of the vehicle and began firing a gun.
The search for Colvin led officers to an area of Lake County, near Altoona, police said. Investigators with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said they believe Colvin ditched his car in a junkyard and then fled into a wooded area.
Officials said Colvin was spotted hiding under a canoe by the pilot of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office helicopter.
The pilot guided the SWAT team into a heavily wooded area to the suspect. Officials said Colvin fled when the SWAT team got close.
Authorities said the pilot informed them that Colvin had a handgun on him.
According to officials, the pilot had to guide the SWAT team through the wooded area because they could not see the suspect, who would not reply to commands.
Authorities said Colvin took a prone position in an aggressive manner. At some point, officials said gunfire was exchanged, and the suspect was pronounced dead.
The officer, identified as Capt. Gary Winheim, was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center for treatment. Police officials described Winheim as stable. They said his wife is with him at the hospital.
Police believe Colvin robbed a Shell gas station Tuesday in the same area that Thursday afternoon’s shooting occurred. The robber in that case was wearing a “Jason” mask.
Officials said Wilheim was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center for treatment and is stable.
Wilheim is in good spirits and should recover well from his injuries. Authorities said he was shot in the ear, which traveled to his neck and was also shot in the back.
Please check back for details on this developing story.
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