ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) – The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says there was a deputy-involved shooting overnight in St. Petersburg. The PCSO identified the victim later Saturday.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri just wrapped up a news conference this morning at the scene near 23rd Street South and 21st Avenue South.
Gualtieri said it all began around 3:30 Saturday morning when the auto theft task force spotted a vehicle driving fast and recklessly on two wheels on 22nd Avenue South. Once the vehicle was at 18th Avenue South, authorities tried to do a traffic stop, but the car ended up ramming into an undercover car, going off the road, back onto the road, and then hitting a St. Pete PD car.
Gualtieri says the vehicle fled the area, they searched for it along with a police helicopter, and ended up finding the vehicle at a home nearby. The sheriff says the passenger bailed from the car with an AR 15 in his hand, and as he was running away, turned toward law enforcement in a threatening manner and that’s when a deputy fired four to five shots at the suspect.
Gualtieri says the suspect died at the hospital, the deputy was not injured.
As for the driver, Gualtieri says that person, who tried to get away in a nearby alley, is in custody and being interviewed. He also said the suspects and the vehicle have no relationship to the neighborhood. The suspect who was killed was identified as Alton Witchard, 37. He has criminal record in Pinellas County – he has been arrested for drug possession charges (both marijuana and cocaine).
The driver of the car was identified as Corry Williams. He was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery, Fleeing and Eluding, Driving on Suspended or Revoked License.
Stay with WFLA for updates.