Three males have been arrested following a standoff at a Lakeland McDonald's. So far deputies at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office have found two firearms -- but they're continuing to look for a third weapon.

  • Deputies spotted stolen car in Brandon
  • Suspects led deputies on a pursuit that ended in Polk County
  • Suspects enter McDonald's and held employees hostage

Multiple agencies responded to the scene.

According to Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, the ordeal could have been resolved much faster if it weren't for false social media claims.

An individual reportedly posted to Facebook saying that multiple hostages were hiding inside. Deputies say the unnamed man wasn't even on the property, and could face charges.

"He had nothing to do with it," said Sheriff Gee. "He apparently took an opportunity on social media which really took a lot of time today put our officers lives in danger and cost the taxpayers a ton of money."

The incident began in Brandon at about 7:30 a.m after deputies spotted a stolen car on Interstate 4.  A pursuit followed and ended in Polk County with the suspects crashing at a McDonald's located at South Frontage Road in Lakeland, authorities said.

After crashing the vehicle, the suspects tried to carjack someone at the drive-thru window. A McDonald's employee attempted to close the window but the suspects jumped inside. 

The McDonald's employees were held inside the restaurant for a few hours. All employees were eventually released, deputies say.