Neighbors shocked by Lakeland officer's shooting

ABC Action News has learned the man who shot a Lakeland police officer Tuesday had a concealed weapons permit.

Tommie Lanier was in critical condition Tuesday night at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Lakeland Police Department says two officers walked up to talk with Lanier in the 800 block of North Florence Avenue. That's when he pulled a gun and started shooting.

One bullet hit Officer Doug Mills.  Mills was hit in the arm and is recovering at home.

He returned fire with his partner. Lanier was shot three times.

Police wanted to talk with Lanier to see if he was a man reported to them as wanted in Polk County.

Lakeland police never got to have that conversation. It turns out Lanier was not the person they were looking for.

Neighbors who said they knew Lanier said the shooting is completely out of character.

Doug Wright lives below Lanier.

"Didn't bother nobody,” Wright said of Lanier. “Didn't have an unkind word with people. Didn't argue with people, you know. Didn't have problems and stuff like that."

Wright saw police go in and out of Lanier's second floor apartment all day. He said he never saw Lanier with a gun in the several years he knew him.

"It really shocked me…especially when they said he had four weapons on him. I would have never thought anything like that,” Wright said.

Wright went on to say Lanier could be a bit paranoid at times, but completely passive in the years he knew him.

"Scared the FBI was looking for him. He was scared of cellphones and computers, stuff like that,” he said.

Nothing, Wright added, to indicate that he would violently lash out at officers who just walked up to talk with him.

 
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