LARGO, Fla. — Largo Police are investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred on Friday night.
According to police, Largo Police Officer's Matthew Steiner and Prentice Ables were on patrol when they noticed a Nissan Altima with illegally tinted windows.
They say they engaged the driver, Linus Phillip, 30, in a consensual conversation at the Wawa Store, which one independent witness described as "polite" on the part of the officers.
While standing near Phillip's car, the officers say they smelled the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. As they attempted to lawfully detain Phillip, they say he jumped into the driver's seat and tried to flee.
Officer Steiner was trapped half-in and half-out of the car as Phillip allegedly put the vehicle in reverse and accelerated. The driver's door was open and the concrete bollards were in close proximity. Officer Ables maneuvered clear from the vehicle.
As he was reportedly being dragged, Officer Steiner fired his duty weapon in self-defense. He was able to fall free from the driver's compartment and passed beneath the driver's door, which brushed him, according to Largo PD. Officer Steiner narrowly avoiding being run over as the car continued rearward then slammed into the bollards.
After striking another car and hitting more bollards, the vehicle came to rest between the rows of gas pumps. Both officers and responding back-ups immediately began first responder medical assistance to Phillip and called for Fire Rescue paramedics.
Police say that Phillip twice served stints in prison for Sales and Possession of Cocaine and Methamphetamine. Phillip was out of prison on Early Inmate Release. He has previous arrests for Habitual DWLSR, Fleeing and Eluding, Tampering with Evidence, and Trafficking in Methamphetamine.
Police say that on Friday, a significant amount of crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, marijuana, and cash were found in Phillip's car.