Florida authorities said a second suspect was taken into custody following the police chase on Interstate 75
(MAINNEWS) – A Florida state trooper was hospitalized and underwent surgery after he was shot by a suspect following a pursuit and shootout in Pasco County early Saturday morning, the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed to Fox News Digital.
One suspect was killed during the shootout and a second was taken into custody, police said in a release.
A trooper patrolling Interstate 75 initially pulled over near what at first appeared to be two disabled vehicles just after 3 a.m., Florida Highway Patrol Director Gene Spaulding said in a news conference.
When the trooper stopped, the two suspects immediately fled north into Hernando County in one of the vehicles. Both vehicles were later found to be stolen, FOX 13 reported.
The suspects allegedly fired at the trooper while driving, hitting a tanker truck that happened to be on the freeway.
The driver turned around and started heading back south on I-75 after reaching State Route 50, with two more troopers now in pursuit.
The driver was finally stopped farther south in Wesley Chapel, Florida, after one of the troopers conducted a PIT maneuver, Spaulding said.
The suspects then fled the vehicle heading for a wooded area and one was immediately apprehended, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The other suspect pulled a gun on one of the troopers and allegedly shot him in the stomach. The trooper was airlifted to a Tampa hospital and was in stable condition after undergoing surgery, according to Spaulding.
The trooper was shot just below his bullet-proof vest and “seems to be doing well” after surgery, Spaulding said.
“He did return fire and the subject was killed at the scene,” Spaulding said, adding that they weren’t releasing any names yet.
Charges against the suspect in custody are pending.
By Brie Stimson