State Attorney: Pinellas deputies justified in shooting, killing armed carjacking suspect

Four Pinellas County deputies who fatally shot an armed carjacking suspect back in June were justified in the deadly shooting, a state attorney determined.

State Attorney Bruce Bartlett announced Thursday the conclusion of the investigation, saying the deputies "shot and killed Robert Hubbard while in the performance of their legal duties, and the death constitutes a justifiable homicide under Florida Statutes."

The shooting occurred on the afternoon of June 30 in the middle of Phillippe Parkway in Safety Harbor. But the chain of events began just the day before.

According to officials, Hubbard took a vehicle at gunpoint on June 29. Later that night, he tried to rob someone in Trinity, according to Clearwater Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Walek.

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The next day, officers got a tip that the vehicle was in Clearwater. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies caught up with the driver, later identified as Hubbard, but he took off. The deputies pursued the vehicle Hubbard was driving, saying he was driving "erratically and dangerously."

Meanwhile, dispatchers told deputies that the suspect "wishes to have a shootout with law enforcement."

Walek said the suspect drove to Safety Harbor, where deputies tried to use stop sticks to burst the vehicle's tires, but the suspect kept going.

When he got to Philippe Parkway and Enterprise Road, Walek said Hubbard got out of the vehicle and pointed a handgun at deputies.

Four deputies shot and killed Hubbard.