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Early Morning Pursuit, Shootout, Leaves Suspect Dead and Trooper Injured

WESLEY CHAPEL – An early morning pursuit of a stolen vehicle ended in a shootout between a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper that left the suspect dead and the Trooper injured.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), at approximately 3:15 AM, an FHP Trooper on patrol along I-75 came upon two pickup trucks with two adult males near the northbound 279 Milepost. The men appeared to be attempting to steal the second truck or items within the vehicle. The men then fled northbound on I-75 in their pickup truck with the Trooper in pursuit. As the pursuit continued the men discharged a firearm several times from their vehicle, striking a tanker truck traveling northbound also. Upon reaching SR-50, the men reversed course and began traveling southbound on I-75 where two additional Troopers joined the pursuit. As the men reached Overpass Road, they exited the interstate, and a Trooper successfully performed a PIT maneuver, which terminated the pursuit. The two men then fled on foot towards a wooded area just south of Overpass Road where one man surrendered to a Trooper while simultaneously the other man produced a handgun. Shots were exchanged between the second Trooper and assailant. The Trooper was struck in the torso, while the assailant was struck and suffered fatal injuries at the scene. The Trooper was airlifted to an area hospital and is listed in stable condition.

Agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with members of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the Pasco Sheriff's Crime Scene Unit, and the Hernando County Sheriff's Crime Unit are investigating the incident. Charges against the second assailant apprehended by Troopers, who was also transported to an area hospital for medical care, are pending.

We will bring more on this story if new information develops.


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