ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County deputy shot and killed one of two men who were allegedly pointing guns at his car, according to the sheriff’s office.
The shooting happened around 9:33 p.m. at the intersection of 37th Street South and 22nd Avenue South in St. Petersburg.
Detectives say officers had tried to stop a black Lexus after a driver made a traffic violation on U.S. 19 and Harn Boulevard in Clearwater.
A Largo police officer tried to stop them on U.S. 19 near Whitney Road, but they turned east on Roosevelt Boulevard.
Officers did not make a pursuit, but they used the car’s license plate to find the driver’s address in St. Petersburg, the sheriff’s office said.
Deputy Richard Curry was sent to stake out the house.
An unknown man approached his car, so Curry rolled down the window and identified himself as a deputy, officials said. He was wearing his uniform at the time.
Curry said the man went back inside the home, then returned with another man. The two men pointed an AR-15 and another gun at Curry’s car and started walking toward his vehicle, and Curry, in fear for his life, exited the vehicle and opened fire, according to the sheriff’s office.
Detectives say, Deputy Curry fired his 9mm handgun 18 times.
Deputies said both men started running down an alley. Marquis Golden, was found later, dead near the home.
Detectives say the rifle that was dropped by Golden contained an additional 27 rounds of ammunition.
Pinellas CoutnSheriff Gualtieri commented, “Had Deputy Curry not gotten out of his car, that car would probably have been a coffin.” “I’m glad he [Deputy Curry] is safe and that he handled the situation as well as anybody could have handled it through his training, through his experience, and through his actions, he saved his own life.”
The other man, 22-year-old Delvin Ford, was found hiding on a roof, holding a handgun. It’s unclear if he was injured. He was taken into custody on charges second-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm.
Both Golden and Ford were not in the black Lexus that committed the traffic violation. They just happened to be at the address listed under the license plate.
Curry was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol for deputy-involved shootings.
News Channel 8 was able to speak to someone who witnessed the shooting in an unexpected way. As the shooting took place, Jim Leigh was driving around to pick up his next Lyft customer.
“As I was making the turn, I heard like firecrackers. I thought, ‘you know, ’cause it’s the Chinese New Year just the other day’… it was just the Chinese firecrackers,” Leigh said.
When he saw and heard what was going on, he thought, “don’t think I should be here and left.”
No deputies were injured in the incident.
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