ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A deputy was forced to shoot a violent suspect overnight after officials say he tried to interfere with a traffic stop.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says it happened around 3 a.m. at Village Boulevard and 129th Avenue, where deputies pulled over a woman who appeared to be driving while impaired.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says the deputies were in the middle of their DUI investigation when the woman's passenger, 26-year-old Dylan Thompkins-Holmes, started yelling from the car. He was telling her not to cooperate, and deputies said he kept moving around.
Despite asking Thomkins-Holmes to stop several times, the deputies said he refused. The last straw, they said, was when it appeared that he was going to get into to the driver's seat, so they arrested him for obstruction of justice.
According to Sheriff Gualtieri, things took a turn in the back of the deputy's cruiser, when the suspect's pants fell down, and he fell to the floor.
The deputy helped him back up and took him to the side of the cruiser in an attempt to pull up his pants, and then things got violent.
"At that point a struggle ensued, and Thomkins-Holmes reached for [the deputy's] gun, and took the gun out of the holster, and there was a struggle over the gun," Sheriff Gaultieri said.
The deputy then took back the gun, and reportedly fired at least two rounds out of fear for his safety.
The sheriff said Thompkins-Holmes was struck in the wrist/thigh, and then again in the abdomen.
He was rushed to the hospital where he went into emergency surgery. They expect he will survive.