SEFFNER, Fla. — A man wanted for injuring one person and then shooting at two others in Seffner on Thursday evening is dead after opening fire at Hillsborough County deputies, the sheriff's office said early Friday morning.
HCSO says deputies found 51-year-old Nicholas Kocolis' vehicle shortly after midnight at the Burger King on McIntosh Road. When deputies tried to take him into custody, the sheriff's office says Kocolis got out of the vehicle and immediately opened fire.
Three deputies returned fire and Kocolis died at the scene, according to the sheriff's office.
No deputies were injured, the sheriff's office says.
According to authorities, in the initial shooting Kocolis approached two people inside a truck in the 5400 block of Williams Road in Seffner at 5:30 p.m.
Authorities say Kocolis shot the driver and forced the female passenger, who is his ex-girlfriend, into the driver's seat.
HCSO said Kocolis got into the passenger seat and ordered his ex-girlfriend to drive. Authorities say she crashed the truck a short distance later into a water-filled culvert.
A Good Samaritan who saw the victim trying to get away from Kocolis let her inside their vehicle. Deputies say Kocolis opened fire as the Good Samaritan tried to drive away and hit the vehicle. The driver crashed a short time later on Williams Road just north of U.S. 92.
Kocolis ran from the scene and was located hours later by the deputies at the Burger King.
The driver who was shot inside the truck was taken to the hospital, according to HCSO. There are no reports of injuries to the Good Samaritan or the suspect's ex-girlfriend.
Kocolis had a lengthy criminal history and served 16 years in prison from 1997 to 2013 for trafficking cocaine, the sheriff's office says. Authorities say he also served time for being a felon in possession of a gun in 1996 and burglary in 1994.
“We are extremely thankful that none of our deputies were hit. This very dangerous individual is off the streets, and he will not be able to victimize another person in this community,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister.
“We believe this incident stems from domestic violence. I encourage anyone who may be the victim of abuse to reach out to one of the many resources available in Hillsborough County, such as the Spring of Tampa Bay at 813-247-SAFE (813-247-7233)."
The deputy-involved shooting investigation will be handled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
McIntosh Road is shut down between I-4 and U.S. 92 in both directions as the investigation takes place.
No other information has been released at this time.
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