Crime spree suspect facing murder charge in death of her alleged partner in crime

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman recovering from two gunshot wounds from two different law enforcement agencies is now facing a murder charge for the death of her alleged partner in crime, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

April Thompson, 36, is facing a second-degree felony murder charge, in addition to armed robbery and burglary charges.

She was at the center of this week’s deadly cross-county crime spree.

According to police, Aaron Phillips and April Thompson were wanted by authorities. When detectives approached their car, Thompson, who was behind the wheel, ran over a detective.

During the chaos, several officers fired their weapons, striking her in the leg.

This marks the fourth officer-involved shooting in Plant City since Dec. 1, according to Plant City Police Capt. Jerry Stwan.

That detective is recovering in the hospital. Plant City police is not releasing his name.

Sheriff Grady Judd paid him a visit this week.

“His spirits are good. He tells me he’s got about a four- to five-month recovery but it’s by the grace of God he’s not dead,” said Sheriff Judd.

After fleeing Plant City police, the pair then showed up at a Mulberry mobile home park to carjack another vehicle, Sheriff Judd said.

“He, being Aaron, produces [a SIG Sauer] handgun, pointed it at one of the two victims, the male victim, hollered at him, ‘give me the keys’,” said Sheriff Judd. “Our victims hear Aaron say ‘I’m not going back to prison.’”

A deputy looking for them in the area heard shouting and tracked down Phillips and Thompson. Eventually, according to Sheriff Judd, Phillips, who was in a vehicle, reached down to the floorboard. Deputy Andre Jackson, fearing for his life, fired eight shots, Sheriff Judd said.

Seven bullets hit Phillips, killing him. One shot hit Thompson in the stomach.

Because Thompson is accused of committing crimes with Phillips that lead to his death, she can be charged with his murder.

Thompson is expected to face an attempted murder charge in Hillsborough County in addition to several lesser felonies and misdemeanors, according to Capt. Stwan. This will add to her existing arrest record that includes the grand theft of a motor vehicle and meth charges.

According to Department of Corrections records, Phillips was released from prison in August after serving nearly four years on meth, grand theft motor vehicle and battery charges.

Detectives made an unrelated arrest at the mobile home park Wednesday evening.

Nichole De La Cruz was arrested on meth charges.

Witnesses say she lived in a mobile home right next to where the shooting occurred.

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