Suspect tries to run over deputies, shoots at troopers during chase

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Authorities said a man attempted to run over two deputies and shot at troopers during an extensive chase in a stolen vehicle.

Citrus County Sheriff's deputies said a four-door burgundy Ford pickup truck had been reported stolen from Floral City just after 7 a.m. Sunday.

A tip around 9:15 a.m. led investigators to an Inverness home where they found the vehicle.

According to the sheriff's office, 22-year-old Travis Lovett was inside the truck when he spotted the deputies and decided to flee.

"Lovett deliberately drove the stolen vehicle towards one of the deputies, who had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck, before striking a fence and leaving," the sheriff's office said. "While trying to elude deputies, Lovett intentionally accelerated at another responding deputy, forcing the deputy off the roadway to avoid a collision."

Investigators said Lovett drove recklessly through Inverness and Floral City, driving into oncoming traffic and nearly striking pedestrians in order to lose the deputies following him.

"When we have a suspect who is hell-bent on avoiding all contact with law enforcement, their behavior becomes unpredictable and erratic," said Sheriff Mike  This is especially true if they are dead set on not being caught, then they will risk their life, the lives of innocent citizens, and the lives of all our law  enforcement deputies."

Florida Highway Patrol troopers joined in the pursuit as Lovett continued into Hernando County.

FHP said Lovett shot at troopers during the chase, striking the windshield of one of the patrol cars.

The chase ended in Sumter County when troopers performed a PIT maneuver, causing the truck to overturn multiple times on CR-476.

Lovett was ejected from the vehicle in the crash and airlifted to Bayonet Point, then transferred to Tampa General Hospital. He is listed in serious but stable condition.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office said Lovett will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one county of aggravated fleeing/eluding of law enforcement.

Deputies are looking to identify any additional victims who sustained damage from the incident. Anyone affected is asked to call 352-726-1121 to file a report.