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Deputies: Reckless driver accidentally shoots himself with stolen gun during attempted traffic stop

Posted at 1:35 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 13:35:17-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Deputies with the Violent Crimes Task Force and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrested a St. Petersburg man who ran from deputies and accidentally shot himself with a stolen gun during an attempted traffic stop. 

Matthew Lukine Brown, 23, of St. Petersburg has been charged with Fleeing and Eluding, reckless driving, grand theft (firearm). 

At approximately 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, in the area of 26th Avenue South and 13th Street South, the suspect's vehicle was observed driving recklessly. 

Deputies were able to stop the vehicle at about 22nd Avenue South and 22nd Street South, where the suspect was taken into custody.

A black 2011 Honda Accord was seen driving through residential neighborhoods at a high rate of speed, with the headlights off, and not stopping for stop signs or a traffic light, according to officials.

Law enforcement officials successfully deployed a tire-deflation device after the car failed to stop.

Officials attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect's vehicle in the area of 22nd Avenue South and 34th Street South, when the vehicle drove off at a high rate of speed.

Deputies observed a bright flash and heard a sound similar to a gunshot from inside the vehicle. A Violent Crimes Task Force member then saw the driver throw what appeared to be a handgun, out of the vehicle.

Violent Crimes Task Force members successfully initiated a P.I.T. move on the Honda and the driver of the vehicle was taken into custody. 

When Brown was trying to get rid of the gun, he accidentally shot himself in the right thigh. VCTF members learned the firearm was previously reported stolen from a car in the city of Largo. Largo Police recovered the firearm. 

Brown was transported to Bayfront Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Brown was released after treatment and was transported to the Pinellas County Jail. 

The Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) is a county-wide, multi-jurisdictional task force that focuses on violent crime in Pinellas County. The task force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, St. Petersburg Police Department and the Clearwater Police Department.

The investigation continues.