BRANDON (FOX 13) - Nearly 24 hours after two people were injured following a deputy-involved shooting at a Home Depot parking lot, investigators had released little additional information regarding what happened.
The shooting occurred at 9941 East Adamo Drive in Brandon around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday. Both people were transported to Tampa General Hospital. The male was stable but in critical condition while the female suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Hillsborough County deputies were conducting a routine undercover illegal weapons bust in which it appears, based on video from the overnight shooting and witness accounts, three cars were at the center of the scene: two sedans and a dark SUV.
"A black SUV pulled up [and we heard] pow, pow!" said Melissa Vannatter, a witness.
"We heard a 'pop, pop' and, like I said, I looked up and I said, 'Baby, something just happened over there,'" said William Cole, who was with Vanatter at the time. "I thought it was fireworks and she said, 'No, those are gunshots.' And they came from nowhere: Police, sheriff's department."
The Home Depot and several other businesses in the large shopping center were still open when the shooting happened. No deputies or innocent bystanders were hurt.
As of Wednesday evening had not responded to questions about why deputies chose to conduct an operation in a business parking lot during business hours.
"That's scary. That's very, very scary," Vannatter said.
Other people who were in the shopping center at the time had less of an issue with the location of the bust and more of a problem with the criminals trying to sell illegal weapons.
"It's kind of scary when it's this close to where we frequent, so it makes us feel a little not at ease," said Ashley Hartley, who was at another nearby store. "It's very frustrating. I don't want to say they deserve to be shot, but I don't know exactly what went down at that moment and I trust that the officers made the right decision. And I mean, at the end of the day, not only did they get the guns off the street, they got two people who could be selling to kids."
Detectives have not yet released the names of those involved or discussed any details of the investigation.