LARGO - A deputy involved shooting in Largo ended with a gas station surrounded in crime scene tape and a bullet-riddled Acura submerged in a retention pond.
"I heard five or six shots go off and looked out there to see the car roll into the pond," said Rick Butcher, a witness.
Pinellas County deputies say Bryant Collins, 32, was behind the wheel of that gray Acura, which he stole from his estranged girlfriend Saturday morning when he was spotted by Deputy Ethan Taylor, 47, Tuesday afternoon.
Taylor followed the car to the Circle K gas station at 142 Avenue North and Belcher Road. Once at the gas station, Taylor said, Collins got out of the car and went inside.
While inside, Deputy Lorie Fagan, 52, showed up in an unmarked car but was in uniform.
"He saw deputy Fagan and quickly got into his car, put the car in reverse and backed up toward Deputy Fagan striking her car," explained Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
Fearing for the safety of Deputy Fagan and members of the public, Deputy Taylor opened fire.
"Bullets entered the vehicle but Collins punched it, accelerated due north and went into the retention pond," Sheriff Gualtieri added.
Collins was not injured nor was anyone else.
"A couple minutes later I saw the guy in the car crawling out the back window," Butcher recalled.
Collins was cuffed on the trunk of the car and arrested.
"From then on, it was like police coming from everywhere on to the scene," Butcher added.
Sheriff Gualtieri told ABC Action News surveillance video at the gas station caught the entire ordeal on camera. He said he would not be releasing that video because it is part of an on-going investigation.
Around 3:30 p.m., the car was towed from the retention pond and crime scene tape was removed.
Collins is now being booked into the Pinellas County Jail and is charged with aggravated battery to a law enforcement officer.
As for both deputies, they are now on paid administrative leave.
Fagan has been with the Sheriff's Office since December of 1986. Taylor has been with the Sheriff's Office since June of 1997.
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