The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an officer-involved shooting at Woodland Avenue and Golfview Street in Lakeland.
- Incident occurred on 2700 block of Golfview Street
- Individual who shot at police was a fugitive
- Individual was shot multiple times
According to preliminary information provided by the sheriff’s office, the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) task force, comprised of officers from several local agencies, were conducting a traffic stop on Francis Perry, 32, a known convicted violent felon.
Perry, according to officials, had an active warrant out for his arrest, and was trafficking what appeared to deputies to be meth in his car.
Officers from four agencies -- Polk County Sheriff's Office, Lake Wales Police Department, Haines City Police Department, and Winter Haven Police Department -- approached Perry in his car. They were all clearly identified with vests that read "SHERIFF" across the chest and back.
As they approached Perry's car, Perry, the only occupant in the car, opened fire on them. Officers immediately fired back, and Perry was shot multiple times.
Officers on scene called for an ambulence and performed CPR to keep Perry alive. He was transported to an area hospital, where he went into immediate emergency surgery.
No officers were injured.
Per standard procedure, the officers involved in the shooting will be placed on paid adminstrative leave, according to Polk County Sheriff's officials. In addition, the incident will be investigated by the Sheriff's Office's homicide unit and administrative unit, as well as by the State Attorney's Office.
Officials stressed that Perry had a long criminal history prior to today's events, including drug possession and distribution charges, weapon charges, and robbery charges. He'd also previously admitted to two different law enforcement agencies that he was a member of a White Supremacist movement.