POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A man acting erratically was shot and killed in Lakeland Friday morning after he burst through a home and threw glass at the homeowner, authorities said.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd shared information regarding the incident at a press conference Friday morning, saying the man had gone on a rampage after crashing his vehicle on Old Polk City Road around 6 a.m.
Judd said the suspect, identified as 45-year-old Mayson Armando Ortiz-Vazquez of Orlando, had traveled with a woman from Orlando to meet someone in Polk County.
The preliminary investigation shows Ortiz-Vazquez traveled to Polk County to buy and use drugs, according to the sheriff’s office.
The woman in his vehicle said he started acting erratically before crashing the vehicle through a fence. Judd said there were marks from the vehicle all over the road.
After the crash, Judd said the man ran up to a school bus that had stopped to pick up a child.
Polk County Public Schools identified the bus driver as Margie Yzaguirre, who had just picked up her first student when she encountered Ortiz-Vazquez.
“He comes to my student door. He has blood dripping down his arm, and he starts banging on the doors to get in,” Yzaguirre said, according to a Facebook post from the school district.
“The school bus driver was a hero. She kept the doors locked. She didn’t let him in,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.
No one was hurt.
Judd said the man ran up to two other drivers and jumped on their vehicles.
“Our suspect is 6-foot, 250 pounds. He just jumped on a car and broke the front windshield out,” said Sheriff Judd.
After that incident, deputies said the man walked up to a nearby home and burst through the front glass door. Judd said a 9-year-old boy, his parents and two grandparents were inside the home at the time.
Judd said the boy’s father grabbed his gun while someone else called 911. The family tried to calm the man down, but he chucked a piece of glass at the homeowner. That’s when the boy’s father opened fire, shooting and injuring the suspect.
“I can tell you that man tried to get the suspect under control a lot longer than I would have,” Sheriff Judd said. “When that dude hit the door, it would’ve been curtains for him at that point in time. But he did everything he could to avoid having to shoot him even though he was in his house going wild.”
Ortiz-Vazquez was taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital and pronounced deceased.
Ortiz-Vazquez has been to state prison once and his prior criminal history consists of five felonies and four misdemeanors. Charges include felony battery, burglary, obstruction of justice, filing a false report and contempt, according to the sheriff’s office.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Findings will be handed over to the state’s attorney’s office to determine whether the shooting was justified.
- 2 killed, 2 hospitalized in Hillsborough County crash
- Parkland parent shares best practices to prepare for shooting at Hernando Schools safety summit
- Tampa Electric’s tree trimming has neighborhood ‘in an uproar’
- Former Tampa-area player, Colts CB issues statement on NFL investigation into gambling violations
- Anna Shay, star of Netflix’s ‘Bling Empire,’ dies