PLANT CITY, Fla. - A Plant City police officer shot and wounded an armed suspect who investigators say tried to carjack several vehicles in the 4100 block of James L. Redman Parkway shortly after noon Tuesday.
Police got a series of 911 calls about an armed man who shot into at least one car, missed, and then shot into another, wounding the passenger.
Police and a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s helicopter and a sheriff’s K-9 unit closed in on the suspect near the intersection of Redman Parkway and Kilgore Road.
Plant City police say the suspect fired in the direction of police and a Plant City officer, armed with a rifle, shot and wounded the suspect.
“We have no idea why he did this. This is very random,” Sgt. Al VanDuyne, Plant City Police spokesman.
After the shooting, the suspect came into Fred Jandreau’s girlfriend’s yard and asked the woman’s father for a cigarette while he waved a gun around.
“After her dad said 'yes, you can have one,' they went back into the house and went and locked the front door. The cops were in the yard and he jumped the fence and they were shooting,” said Jandreau.
Pedro Vargas, Jr. was leaving to run an errand with his dad, when the shooting started. His mom was at home in the middle of the melee.
“She said she tried to drive out and they stopped her in the driveway, and the officer told her to get in a ditch. There were gunshots everywhere,” Vargas, Jr. re-counted.
Police have not identified the suspect or the person he wounded. Both were taken to hospitals.
Both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the state attorney’s office are investigating the officer-involved shooting, while Plant City police and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office investigate crimes committed by the suspect.