Troop C & D troopers gear up to locate a murder suspect.
Plant City, Florida – On December 5, 2008, Reaction Force Teams from Troops C and D met to practice Mobile Field Force exercises together in Lakeland. However, the training quickly turned very real when a murder suspect violently resisted arrest and fled from Hillsborough County deputies.
At approximately 9:00 AM, attempts to arrest the suspect involved exchange of gunfire, including automatic gunfire from an AK-47 assault rifle. During the gunfight, five Hillsborough County Sheriff’s patrol cars were damaged, with three being completely disabled. Despite being in the line of fire, no deputies were injured. Unfortunately, however, an innocent bystander was shot and killed by the suspect’s rampage.
After the gunfire exchange, the suspect fled into the surrounding neighborhoods of Plant City. Within minutes, over 400 officers responded to the area, including the 60 troopers who were training nearby. FHP was able to respond en masse, sending troopers who are trained to deal with crowds and violent suspects.
Finally, after almost eight hours of searching, officers found the suspect hiding in the area and apprehended him. The suspect was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, five counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, attempted second-degree murder, and additional charges involving firearms and fleeing and eluding officers.