Suspect's ID Not Released Yet
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A Brevard County career criminal was killed on Friday after opening fire on deputies during a vehicle pursuit that ended in Indian River County.
The suspect’s identity is being withheld until the family has been properly notified.
According to the investigation by law enforcement, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office alerted the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office that a vehicle pursuit that started in Cocoa was approaching the Brevard County-Indian River line on I-95.
Authorities say the chase came to a brief halt when the vehicle stopped at a rest area between Palm Bay and Sebastian. During the stop, two passengers identified as a 17-year-old juvenile and an adult exited the vehicle. The driver, who was also the Brevard County criminal, briefly stepped outside of the vehicle then quickly got into the vehicle alone and sped away from deputies.
When the chase began again, deputies took the two passengers into custody and interviewed them.
The passengers alerted deputies that the suspect in the vehicle had active arrest warrants and was in possession of an AR-15 rifle, along with a handgun.
When the vehicle chase reached Indian River County, a deputy inside an unmarked patrol truck deployed the stop sticks at the county line.
After hitting the stop sticks, the suspect’s vehicle slowed down and the tires then began to deflate.
The suspect then attempted a wide turn in the median to reverse course and head northbound on I-95. It was at that time that the suspect exchanged several shots at a K-9 deputy’s vehicle. Investigators say at least two rounds of shots were fired at the deputy’s vehicle.
Miraculously, the deputy and K-9 inside the patrol vehicle were not injured in the gunfire.
During the gunfire, the suspect was killed and pronounced dead the scene.
“We are proud of the actions of our deputies last night. Our dispatchers and aviation team did an outstanding job of providing our deputies on the ground with information they needed to make good split second decisions, preventing this wanted subject from further endangering the public,” said Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar.
“One of the rounds fired by the fleeing felon struck the headrest of our deputy’s truck.”
“Fortunately, he had just moved out of the way, escaping what would have likely been a fatal shot. Our entire team acted heroically and are to be commended for their efforts to protect our community.”
The suspect killed had active arrest warrants from Brevard County for violation of probation and drug charges, indicating that he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Since 1996, this career criminal has been arrested more than twenty times for felony charges and more than ten times for misdemeanors, racking up seven felony convictions.
The two deputies who discharged their weapons were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard protocol.
The suspect’s AR-15 was recovered at the scene.
Deputies also observed drugs in plain view, but a full inventory of the vehicle is pending the execution of a search warrant this week.
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