WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - A 21-year-old suspect believed to be involved in a Lakeland drive-by shooting that injured 11 people last week was shot and killed by a Lakeland police officer in Winter Haven on Monday, investigators say.
Detectives said the Lakeland Police Department, ATF and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were conducting surveillance on Alex Greene, 21, who was believed to be involved with the drive-by shooting last week. The surveillance was happening just outside of Eagle Lake, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news conference early Monday evening.
"I can tell you that we are very confident that [Greene] is in fact involved," Chief Taylor said Monday when speaking about the Lakeland drive-by shooting.
After obtaining a search warrant, detectives said they found the following inside the vehicle Greene was driving Monday: cocaine, marijuana, two handguns and $2,813. In addition, they found $5,833 in cash on Greene.
Of the 11 victims who were shot in the drive-by shooting, two were critically injured, Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor said at the time. So far, no other suspects have been arrested in connection to the incident from last week, and Chief Taylor said today "I feel comfortable that we have very good leads," on the other three suspects.
While the surveillance was underway Monday, Greene jumped into a White Silverado pick-up truck and began fleeing from investigators, the sheriff said. That's when Lakeland police officers began pursuing the suspect.
The chase involving the suspect and Lakeland police went from the Eagle Lake area, through Winter Haven, and ended up on Havendale Boulevard, Sheriff Judd said. Lakeland Police Captain Eric Harper, who was driving in an unmarked patrol car, saw the potential dangers on Havendale Boulevard, a busy road in Winter Haven and tried to stop the vehicle.
Police tape surrounds Andrea's restaurant in Winter Haven
Harper successfully performed a PIT maneuver on Greene's truck, Sheriff Judd confirmed. That's when Greene hopped out of the vehicle and started running into traffic with Captain Harper running after him.
The suspect then carjacked an elderly woman who was meeting with friends at a nearby restaurant, investigators say. That's when Captain Harper demanded him to stop, but Greene started taking off and driving the woman's car toward the officer.
Captain Harper then fired six shots, and the suspect came out onto Havendale Boulevard, weaved through a flowerbed and crashed the car into a building.
Winter Haven police shutdown traffic due to crash
The Polk County Sheriff's Office said deputies then arrived at the scene, pulled Greene out of the vehicle and performed CPR. Greene was pronounced dead at Winter Haven Hospital, according to Judd.
"We could have taken him into custody peacefully, without any problems at all, but he chose for this to be the end," Sheriff Judd said during the news conference.
Crime scene tape surrounded Andrea's Family Restaurant in Winter Haven after the officer-involved shooting. Dozens of law enforcement vehicles lined Havendale Boulevard near 16th Street, closing the busy road off in both directions between 11th Street and 21st Street.
PCSO officials said Greene criminal history includes 10 prior felonies.
The 10th Judicial Circuit Officer-Involved Deadly Incident Task Force will conduct an investigation, the Polk Sheriff's Office said. The investigation into the officer-involved shooting and Lakeland drive-by shooting both remain active.