MANGO, Fla. - Hours after a Pinellas County deputy shot at a suspect, another local law enforcement officer shot another suspect Tuesday. The latest incident occurred in Mango near MLK Boulevard at County Road 579.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, detectives were attempting to serve Justin Bryant, 25, an arrest warrant at the RaceTrac gas station. Bryant was wanted on multiple auto theft charges and detectives had been looking for him for quite some time. They finally cornered him Tuesday afternoon around 3:15 p.m.
“Mr. Bryant made eye contact with some of the detectives that were in front of his vehicle, put it in gear, and attempted to run over them,” said HCSO Col. Greg Brown.
Hillsborough County Detectives Patrick Saunders and Jeffrey Fender both fired shots at Bryant, hitting him at least once in the chest.
The detectives were not injured.
Bryant was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. His condition remained unknown Tuesday evening.
Bryant is a career criminal, according to the sheriff’s office, with at least 46 felony arrests prior to this. In addition to the grand theft auto charges, Bryant is now facing two counts of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle against law enforcement officers.
Saunders, 38, is an eight-year veteran with HCSO. Fender, 48, is an 18-year veteran with HCSO. Both have been placed on administrative leave until the case can be reviewed by the State Attorney’s Office.
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