NewsHillsborough County


Man facing federal charges after Lakeland police chase, shootout

Posted at 2:34 PM, Jan 19, 2022

LAKELAND, Fla. — Multiple law enforcement agencies were on the scene of a shooting involving a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy that happened in Lakeland Wednesday.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, deputies were conducting surveillance on 27-year-old Francisco Cabrera at the time.

In a press conference, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced that says Cabrera had been on the agency's radar for a few weeks after carrying out a series of violent armed robberies. To help track him down, HCSO called on a task force that's run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Chronister says Wednesday morning Cabrera carried out two violent carjackings while being watched by the task force. And shortly after, he allegedly spotted those task force members and led them on a car chase.

"No doubt in my mind that this individual needed to be stopped by any means necessary today," he said.

That chase ended with a shootout between Cabrera and law enforcement on New Tampa Highway in Lakeland.

"With little to zero disregard to anyone's life but his own, he again discharges that firearm in an attempt to kill this task force and a deputy," said Chronister.

According to the sheriff's office, Cabrera was the only person hurt in the incident. But Chronister adds that despite his injuries, Cabrera still tried to make a run for it when law enforcement pulled him out of his car.

"He's so combative that even after being shot, he has to be tasered," he said.

Cabrera was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries. When's he's released, we're told he'll be booked into Polk County Jail on multiple felony charges, including endangering the lives of law enforcement officers.

Chronister tells ABC Action News that an independent agency will be reviewing Wednesday's shooting.