1 person dead in deputy involved shooting

Posted at 7:06 AM, May 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-07 09:58:16-04

Pinellas County sheriff's officials are investigating a deputy involved shooting in south St. Pete.

One person is dead, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualteri said.

The incident began about 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies and St. Petersburg police officers tried to make a traffic stop of a Ford van being driven erratically, Gualteri said. The vehicle was on a hot list for stolen vehicles.

Now it appears the vehicle was not stolen, but it did have the wrong tag, Gualteri added.

The Ford, apparently occupied by two people, sped away and rammed two law enforcement cruisers.

The Ford ended up going down an alleyway near the intersection of 21st Avenue South and 22nd Street South in South Pete.

The passenger in the Ford bailed out clutching an AR-15 rifle, Gualteri said. At some point, the rifle toting suspect turned toward the officers in a threatening fashion. A Pinellas sheriff's deputy fired his weapon.

The victim was struck about four times, the sheriff said.

During a news conference, the sheriff said he did not know whether the victim fired his weapon.

The Ford's driver continued on after the passenger bailed out. Law enforcement officers pursued the Ford and were able to make a traffic stop.

The driver of the Ford is in custody, and passenger died at the hospital. Neither of their names have been released.

Gualteri said the information he provided was preliminary.

Members of the Uhuru Movement organization launched a protest Saturday morning near the intersection of 21st Ave. and 23rd St. in South St. Pete in response to the deputy involved shooting.

This is a developing story. Stay with for updates.