‘He was going to kill that cop’: Sheriff wants man accused of shooting at 2 officers to get life in prison
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - A St. Petersburg man with a long criminal history may be sentenced to life in prison for shooting at two officers, carjacking a man at gunpoint and leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase after a domestic incident Tuesday night, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
The sheriff says it all began when Calvin Brockington, 24, of St. Petersburg, met up with his ex-girlfriend in a St. Petersburg parking lot Tuesday night. Deputies say he asked her to give him a ride to Rainbow Village, a residential complex, so he could see his kids.
As the pair headed out of St. Petersburg and began traveling west on Ulmerton Road near US 19, Gualtieri says Brockington ‘went off’ on her and began hitting her as she drove. He says she decided not to drive him to Rainbow Village and pulled into the gas station at 49th and Ulmerton instead.
Deputies say she told Brockington she was going inside to prepay for gas. However, she went into the gas station bathroom and called 911. She told the dispatcher Brockington was in the car in the parking lot. She said he battered her, he did not like law enforcement and possibly had warrants out for his arrest.
Officer Jacob Derr with the Pinellas Park Police Department was the first officer to arrive. As he approached the vehicle he was ambushed by Brockington who had moved from the front passenger seat to the back seat on the driver’s side.
"Brockington opened the door and immediately fired on Officer Derr," Gualtieri said. "Officer Derr had nothing that he could’ve done. He was completely taken by surprise and completely ambushed by this…it was instantaneous as Brockington opened that door."
Officer Derr was shot in the upper arm and immediately hit the ground.
"It incapacitated the officer. He’s right-handed and he could not reach for his gun. He had no use of his right arm," explained Gualtieri.
After Derr went down, Brockington got out of the car and fired at him four more times with his revolver, but he missed.
"He knew the gun he had. He knew how many rounds he had and he knew how many rounds he fired. One struck Officer Derr and four others were fired at Officer Derr as he was on the ground," the sheriff said.
As Officer Derr got up and ran to safety on the west side of the store, Brockington ran to Derr’s police cruiser and looked in it before turning around and running into the convenience store.
Once inside the store, deputies say Brockington threatened a customer with a gun and got him to turn over his car keys. While Brockington was running to the car, he saw another officer and shot at her, according to PCSO.
Brockington fled the scene eastbound in the westbound lanes of Ulmerton Road. A deputy nearby began to follow him. Brockington made a U-turn and began going east in the eastbound lanes. He eventually got on I-275 and was fleeing at 150 miles per hour. Law enforcement officers pursued him.
"He was driving absolutely recklessly with total disregard for anyone’s safety," Gualtieri shared.
Brockington got off I-275 near 28th Street South and continued to flee law enforcement by speeding up and down side streets in South St. Pete. A deputy tried to perform a pit maneuver but ended up crashing head-on into a tree. Following the crash, Brockington veered off and ran into a house at 928 22nd Ave. South. Two other deputies were involved in a collision while chasing Brockington and suffered minor injuries. The deputy who crashed into the tree suffered a broken foot and a shoulder injury.
After he was taken into custody, Brockington told law enforcement officers that his record isn’t that extensive. He told them, "I’m like damn 20 years for jumping on somebody, I might as well go out with the whole shebang."
"He says with a shot left, I could’ve killed the man," Gualtieri explained. "He knew he had fired five times and had six rounds. When he came out of the store and he shot at Officer Gavin he had one round left. That was it. He actually pointed off for her again, but he ran out of bullets. Thankfully it was a revolver and it only had six rounds because if it was a semi-automatic with a magazine in it with multiple rounds there would’ve been a real serious gunfight. He knew exactly what he was doing and he said with a shot left I could’ve killed him. No question he had every intention of killing Officer Derr and then Officer Gavin."
Brockington was arrested eight times before he turned 18. Since turning 18, he spent three years in state prison. During the three years, he was not in prison as an adult, he was arrested 25 times on charges of grand theft, burglary, resisting an officer, violation of probation, robbery with a firearm, attempted carjacking and more.
In 2017, Brockington went to state prison for three years for attempted carjacking and carrying a concealed firearm. He got out in December 2020.
Courtesy: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Between March 2021 and April 2022, Gualtieri says Brockington sold drugs to undercover detectives with the St. Petersburg Police Department 17 times and has now been charged with 17 counts of sale and possession and trafficking of drugs.
Gualtieri says the revolver Brockington used in the shooting was last purchased in 1980 in Miami. He said it belonged to a woman in her 80s who now lived up north. However, he added that even though the gun had not been reported as stolen, he said it has all the appearances of a crime gun that has been passed around for many years.
"If this guy had a different type of gun, a different crime gun because that’s what it is, we’d be having a very different kind of conversation," Gualtieri stated. "He only had six bullets and he ran out. His desire exceeded the capacity of the rounds that he had. There is no doubt that if he had more rounds, he would’ve fired more rounds…This is a guy who is a true epitome of a real bad guy that has absolutely no care for anybody else. No regard for anybody else."
The sheriff added that the situation could’ve been much worse.
"That guy moves from the front seat to the back seat and there’s a reason why he did that. You don’t just move from the front seat to the back seat. The reason was he was getting an advantage. He was getting a drop on that cop and he was going to kill that cop. No question that’s what he would’ve done," the sheriff said.
Brockington has been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer and two other felonies.
Gualtieri said because of Brockington’s history and being a prison release re-offender he should receive a mandatory life sentence. He did state that some of the charges pending against Brockington were due to domestic violence situations with his ex-girlfriend who Gultierri says would not work with prosecutors.