MULBERRY, Fla. (AP) — A Florida deputy fatally shot an armed man Wednesday several hours after a stolen pickup truck he was riding in ran over a police detective in another county, authorities said.
Aaron Phillips, 31, was killed while fighting with a deputy at a mobile home park near Mulberry, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference. Phillips had been released from prison in August following a five-year sentence for methamphetamine possession, battery and other charges.
“He is a very dangerous, very violent person,” Judd said. “He’s proven that in the past. He’s proven that today.”
A woman who had been with Phillips, April Thompson, 36, was hospitalized with two gunshot wounds. Judd said there had been warrants out for both.
In neighboring Hillsborough County Wednesday morning, Plant City detectives located Phillips and Thompson outside a grocery store, Judd said. As the detectives approached, the truck began to crash into police vehicles and struck an officer. The detectives opened fire, hitting Thompson.
A short time later, Judd said the pair dumped their pickup truck north of Plant City and carjacked another truck. The information was broadcast to nearby law enforcement agencies, prompting Polk County deputies to search for the stolen vehicle.
While checking the mobile home park, a deputy reported hearing a disturbance, Judd said. The deputy spotted Phillips and Thompson. As the deputy attempted to take Thompson into custody, Phillips began to leave. When the deputy tried to remove Phillips from behind the wheel of a car, the two men began to struggle, Judd said.
A woman in the area began to yell that Phillips had a gun as he reached down toward the car’s floorboard, Judd said. The deputy drew his own weapon and opened fire.
Phillips died at the scene, while Thompson was taken to a hospital. She faces multiple charges, Judd said.
Investigators found a gun in the car where Phillips was shot, according to Judd.
The Plant City detective who was hit by the truck was taken to a Lakeland hospital. Judd said he is expected to recover.