Video shows St. Pete officers narrowly avoid being shot

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday released body camera video of police officers narrowly missing a gunman’s bullets during a violent confrontation in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

Officer Ronald McKenzie and Officer Pavel Kuznetsov were trying to arrest 23-year-old Austin Kingos for allegedly violating a stalking injunction, and found him in a van outside his home in the 10700 block of 4th Street North near Gandy Boulevard.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Video released Tuesday showed the officers conducting the traffic stop. One officer is seen talking to Kingos before a struggle ensues. The other officer ran over to help his partner before Kingos fired two shots, narrowly missing them both. Deputies said a bullet barely missed Officer Kuznetsov’s head and hit a nearby apartment building, but no inside the home was injured.

“I can’t stress how close it came to hitting Officer Kuznetsov’s in the head,” Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

One of the officers responded by drawing his pistol and firing several rounds at Kingos, striking him in the leg.

Kingos took off running, but eventually surrendered at the intersection of 108th Avenue N and Fourth Street N, then was rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been released and was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on one count violation of injunction for protection and two counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.

St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway said the officers who fired the shots was placed on paid administrative leave, the other officer has returned to work.

“You saw what happened in that short period of time. We are very happy the officers are going home safely,” Holloway said.

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