HAINES CITY, Fla. — A Haines City Police Officer is in the hospital after being shot during a traffic stop.
“He thought he was going to die last night,” said Interim Haines City Police Chief Loyd Stewart.
Investigators said around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Officer Dwight Rogers pulled over a speeding vehicle at the intersection of Highway 27 and Glen Este Blvd.
The driver Luis Feliciano was arrested after he refused to give the officer his license and registration. The vehicle, which is registered under Feliciano’s girlfriend, Daribel Orozco, had a suspended tag.
Other officers arrived on scene to back up Rogers. Officers on scene contacted the registered owner, Daribel Orozco and informed her of the situation, and gave her permission to come and retrieve personal items from the vehicle before it was towed. Authorities said Orozco arrived with her brother, David Orozco, and the pair were very combative and demanded to know why Feliciano was being arrested.
“We do see a number of people who are challenging the officers' actions and doing so in an inappropriate manner,” Stewart said.
Officers ordered Daribel and David to return to their vehicle and leave the scene multiple times, and they were met with confrontation and refusal. With Daribel and David resisting orders, they were placed under arrest.
While officer Rogers attempted to arrest David Orozco, he reached for the officer's gun and managed to pull the trigger through the holster.
“He never was able to get the gun out of the holster. He was able to get his finger into the trigger guard and pull the trigger,” Stewart said.
Rogers was shot in the right leg and was flown to the hospital. David Orozco faces multiple charges, including resisting an officer with violence and attempted felony murder with a weapon.
“We asked the suspect why he was trying to get the officer’s weapon, and he said he blacked out and doesn’t remember, but he always wants to protect his family,” Stewart said.
The police department is looking at getting its holsters replaced with a different design to prevent something like this from happening again.
"We were on scene last night. I gave direction to our staff to begin investigating an alternative to that, because we need to get that fixed now,” Stewart said.