At least four Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies opened fire on an armed hit-and-run suspect who had a confrontation with the law officers.
The suspect, identified as 30-year-old Harry Bell, sustained serious injuries and was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. His condition is unknown at this time.
A witness said she saw a deputy also get shot in the exchange. He was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
The incident took place this morning at the intersection of Clark Road and Beneva Road.
According to Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight, Bell was involved in a hit-and-run accident in Osprey.
A deputy saw a pickup truck on South Beneva Road, which had significant front-end damage and fit the description of the suspect’s vehicle.
The deputy tried to stop the pickup, but the driver would not stop. More deputies joined the pursuit, and Bell stopped just south of the Clark Road intersection.
Investigators say Bell did not comply with deputies' commands and pulled out a gun, and at least four deputies opened fire. A mask was found in the pickup truck, which turned out to be stolen.
A witness who was in her own vehicle about 50 yards from the scene said she also saw a deputy get shot.
“The deputy went down and crawled back to his car,” said Nicole Logan. “I was terrified. I’m still shaking.”
Knight wouldn’t confirm that a deputy was shot, only saying that one was injured. The investigation is ongoing.
Contact Robin Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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