TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A witness to a deputy-involved shooting in Tampa told a slightly different story Wednesday than the one a deputy told investigators following the incident a day earlier.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies were called out to the Jasmine Terrace Apartments on Skipper Road Tuesday evening after a 17-year-old hit his sister and threw his mother to the ground.
As deputies searched for the teenager, Jose Aviles was driving down Skipper Road.
"I noticed that the deputy had pulled over to the side. I was behind him," Aviles said. "He proceeded to get out of the car, so I slowed down almost to a complete stop to allow him to get out."
According to the sheriff, the deputy believed he was approaching a potentially violent suspect. The deputy told investigators he thought the teenager had a weapon and ordered him to "drop the gun."
Aviles, however, told FOX 13 he heard something completely different.
"As soon as they made eye contact, the kid started backpedaling back to start to try to run away," Aviles said. "[The teenager] got about three steps back before the [deputy] said, 'Stop! Show me your hands!' Already with his gun drawn -- 'Stop show me your hands!' -- and then he let off his shots."
Deputies did not find a weapon on the teenager. This came as no surprise to Aviles.
"I saw his hands clear as day," he said. "He had nothing in his hands. Like, 100 percent, he had nothing in his hands. He was getting to run away. The officer drew on him and said, 'Stop, show me your hands!' And he fired."
The teenager, whose name has not been released, was in critical condition but stable Wednesday night. The deputy who was involved has been placed on administrative leave.
Neighbors in the apartment complex where this all began hope the deputy acted properly.
"When an officer tells you, 'stop,' or whatever they say at that present moment, 'put up your hands,' if you don't, you know they have a gun or a Taser or something," said Samantha Kerr. "I hope that they find out that everything was done according to rule, law, whatever we're basing it upon."
Aviles, meanwhile, can't stop thinking about what he witnessed.
"It's been running through my head ever since I seen it last night. Can't stop thinking about it. I've never seen something like that happen in my life," he said. "I pray for a speedy recovery and I hope he pulls through. His family, my condolences go out to them because honestly it wasn't easy to see and I'm sure it wasn't easy for them to come up on that scene."
Several witnesses, including Aviles, have given statements to detectives. The state attorney's office is also involved in the investigation.
The teenager's mother told FOX 13 her son is having trouble feeling his legs and she's worried he'll never walk again.