LAKELAND (FOX 13) - Polk County deputies are investigating a deputy-involved shooting that injured one suspect.
The shooting occurred before 6 a.m. Friday morning at State Road 33 and Combee Road in Lakeland. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the agency received a call from a woman claiming a current or former boyfriend sent her a photo of a gun through Facebook and threatened to kill her, law enforcement, and possibly harm himself. According to Judd, preliminary evidence indicates he asked her, "How messy do you think this will be?"
Deputies were in the process of evacuating the woman and her family from their home, when the suspect, later identified as 32-year-old Joshua A. Imhoff, was spotted by a deputy on Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 27. The deputy attempted a traffic stop, but Imhoff began doing donuts on the road and then fled westbound on I-4, said Sheriff Judd.
During a press conference, he said the Imhoff has a "long criminal history." Using an unmarked car, deputies followed him throughout parts of North Lakeland before reaching SR-33 near Combee Road.
Stop sticks were set up, but that's when Imhoff began shooting towards the deputies, and they returned fire, Judd said. He continued shooting as he exited his car and began running down SR-33.
One deputy used an unmarked car to bump into Imhoff knocking him down with the side of the car. Imhoff then pulls out a knife, and deputies shot him, Judd said. He eventually collapsed and deputies provided first aid.
No deputies were injuries, the Polk County Sheriff's Office reported. Imhoff was transported to Lakeland Regional Health for surgery.
"He was wild. He was out of control," Judd said during the press conference. "If you shoot us, we are going to shoot back at you, a lot, and we did."
SR-33 is closed at the intersections of Combee Road and University Boulevard.
Judd said they will provide additional details later in the day.
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 13 for the latest.