LAKELAND, Fla. - One suspect has died after two carjackings lead to early morning pursuit and crash. It began at about 3:05 a.m. Sunday morning in Lakeland. Lakeland Police responded to an armed carjacking at the Barnett Family Park. Two people in the car stated that 4 black males ordered them out of the vehicle.
The suspects took the 2005 Suzuki Aerio along with the cell phones, wallet and purse of the occupants of the car.
Another carjacking took place around 6:00 p.m. at 740 N. Wabash Avenue. This was in the Polk County Sheriff’s office jurisdiction, but it is believe by Lakeland Police that the two incidents are related.
The suspects and vehicles were spotted by an off duty Lakeland Police Dispatcher that noticed the two vehicles at around 7:00 a.m. at a Racetrac gas station on 2700 block of N.Rd 98.
Officers pursued the vehicles. The suspects rammed as innocent persons vehicle in hopes of distracting pursuing officers.
A marked Lakeland police vehicle hit the suspect’s bumper causing it to stop. The suspect driver, Brian Demarcus West, 24, attempted to flee the vehicle and jumped into the path of the officer’s vehicle.
West died from injuries. The two other suspects in the car are being held pending charges. They two other suspects in the car are 13 and 17 years-old.
Two other suspects fled the area and are being sought by Polk County Sheriff’s office.
The officer that was driving the vehicle that killed West, Greg Hardee, will be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
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