PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - A 12-hour manhunt is over for the man accused of exchanging gunfire with a Largo police officer.
Officers tried to arrest Terry James late Thursday night for two recent armed home invasions in the area, but he snuck out the back of the home where he was staying, according to police.
During the initial chase, police said James shot at the officer and the officer shot back, but both missed.
"It terrifies me. I'm glad I'm a gun holder, honestly. I would not hesitate to use it to protect my family," said Sheri Davis, who heard the shootout in her neighborhood.
While some neighbors worried throughout the night about the man on the loose, detectives worked some leads and early Friday morning, found James with with people in a car in the Pinellas Park area.
Deputies traced the car into a church.
"When they pulled into the church parking lot, James got out and fled, and the other two people were taken into custody," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies chased James behind a house where they say he tried to hide and was not following commands.
"He put his hands down in his pants area and said 'shoot me, shoot me!'" The sheriff said. "The deputies showed great restraint."
Instead, they used a stun gun.
Detectives spent the rest of the morning on a scavenger hunt for one key piece of evidence: The gun.
"They were looking for a little silver gun, and they walked all around," said Joyce Delgrosso, who lives just down the street. "They were afraid some children were going to get it."
Early Friday afternoon, our cameras rolled as they found what they were looking for. The gun was stashed away in some deep grass.
"He's in custody, and everybody is safe. That's what's important to us," Sheriff Gualtieri said.
It's a relief, but for some neighbors, just another day.
"I'm an old Marine. Nothing frightens me," said Roger Delgrosso.
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