HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A “known” and “violent” offender was killed in Riverview Tuesday morning after a shootout with a multi-agency task force.
Don Robert Astor, 39, of New York, was wanted for his involvement in a 2009 murder in New York, according to Sheriff Chad Chronister.
Chronister said a U.S. Marshals task force found Astor living at an apartment complex in Riverview and then waited until he was leaving and on a road away from the apartments so they could move in to arrest him.
Chronistor said Astor was a passenger in a car when the task force moved in to make the arrest. Astor’s nephew, Angel Torres Vallejo, 19, was driving the vehicle as the task force moved in.
Vallejo allegedly tried to ram a Polk County Sheriff’s Office vehicle in an attempt to get away.
Task force members boxed in the car and attempted to arrest Astor when he opened fire from inside the car, Chronister said.
“The Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy returns fire,” Chronister said. “The two Tampa police officers, who placed themselves willfully in this dangerous position, they discharge their firearms as well. They are able to remove the bad guy from the vehicle and he died here at the scene.”
No law enforcement officers were injured.
Vallejo was also taken into custody and is facing felony charges of his own.
Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said Astor had a long criminal history.
“History of [aggravated] assault, violent offender, rape, robbery, possession of a firearm, a primary suspect from a homicide in New York in 2009,” Bercaw said.
Chronister said Astor was also a known member of the Latin Kings gang, but that his criminal actions ended when he tried to kill law enforcement officers.
“This individual will never have another opportunity to victimize or harm another human being,” Chronister said.