Land O' Lakes man shot after aiming rifle at deputies

SARASOTA - A Land O' Lakes man is recovering from getting shot by law enforcement officers after he aimed a rifle at them Tuesday morning, according to a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office release.

Lawrence John Gudmestad, 39, first caught the attention of the deputies when he was speeding just after 2:00 a.m. on a Sarasota road.

The suspect initially pulled over when the deputies stopped his car in a traffic stop, but he drove off.

Deputies didn't continue the pursuit. Instead they later found the red Chrystler convertible at the registered owner's address, located at 3500 Aloha Way.

While deputies were outside the home, Gudmedstad walked outside armed with a 22 caliber rifle at 3:30 a.m.  

The suspect refused commands to drop the weapon. When he took aim at Sgt. Mark Tuls and Dep. Josh Gnesin, they fired, hitting the suspect in the shoulder.

Gudmestad is being treated at Sarasota Memorial Hospital for non-life threatening injuries and is expected to be released soon.

He will be booked into the Sarasota County Jail on two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm on a Law Enforcement Officer, one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and one count of Aggravated Fleeing to Elude.

Gudmestad has a violent criminal history with arrests in several Florida counties as well as in Michigan and New Jersey. In Florida Gudmestad has 36 felony charges, 15 felony convictions and he was sentenced to prison five times.

His crimes include aggravated assault, battery, robbery, drugs and weapons charges.

The sergeant and deputy are on routine paid administrative leave until the shooting investigation is complete.

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