POLK COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) — A failed attempt at serving an arrest warrant in connection to last week’s mass shooting in Lakeland mass shooting turned into “mayhem” and “pandemonium,” according to authorities.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reports Monday that 21-year-old Alex Greene fled police after they attempted to serve him an arrest warrant in hopes of learning more about the Lakeland mass shooting.
A vehicle pursuit ensued leading authorities from FDLE, the ATF, and the Lakeland Police Department on a nearly 15-minute chase that ended outside a family restaurant near the intersection of Havendale Boulevard and 15th Street Northwest.
There, authorities said Greene stole an elderly woman’s vehicle and attempted to drive toward Lakeland Police Captain Eric Harper. In response, Harper opened fire six times, striking the 21-year-old.
Authorities said Greene continued driving a short distance before crashing the stolen vehicle into a nearby business.
Greene was rushed to an area hospital where he later died.
“This guy had a warrant for burglary,” Police Chief Sam Taylor said during the press conference. “We were just trying to arrest him for the warrant in the hopes of getting an interview with him relative to the shooting we had in Lakeland last week and it turned into the pandemonium and the mayhem that you see here.”
Taylor added he felt “very comfortable that he was tied to last week’s shooting.”
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd shared his thoughts on the incident, saying, “Only the wicked flee when the police try to stop you and that’s what occurred here. Had he simply not run from us, not fled, then none of this would have happened.”
After the incident, authorities searched the vehicle Greene initially used to flee from authorities. They found 28 grams of cocaine, 4,178.9 grams of marijuana, a Glock .357 handgun, a Glock .45 handgun, and $2,813.00 in US currency. Greene also had $5,833 in cash on his person.
A use-of-force task force is investigating the officer-involved shooting.
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