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Deputy shoots bank robbery suspect who grabbed knife, sheriff says

VALRICO — A Hillsborough County deputy shot and badly wounded a bank robbery suspect who pulled a knife on him Monday night, Sheriff David Gee said.

The shooting capped an investigation into a bank robbery that happened at a nearby Grow Financial on Monday afternoon.

The robbery suspect, described as a man in his 30s, implied he had a handgun and was "very aggressive" in the bank, Gee said.

A dye pack hidden in the cash stolen during the 12:30 p.m. robbery exploded at the bank, Gee said. Detectives developed leads, which included calls about a dangerous driver, to a suspect at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Gee said the man initially was cooperative and led detectives to the house in the 4700 block of Bloomingdale Avenue where he lived to retrieve more evidence.

At first, he said he would lead detectives to evidence in the back yard of the 5-acre property.

But he quickly changed his story and took detectives through the garage door into the kitchen. There, he immediately grabbed a knife from a butcher's block, the sheriff said.

A deputy ordered him to drop it, but still in fear of his life fired his gun, Gee said. He said he did not know how many times.

The suspect's parents were in the front yard at the time of the 8:30 p.m. shooting, Gee said.

The suspect was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, where Gee said he was in extremely critical condition.

The man's name was not released. The sheriff said the suspect is on felony probation, but did not know details of that crime.

Gee said several detectives were involved in the investigation and present at the shooting. He did not release their names.

The episode marks the second time in less than two weeks that a Hillsborough deputy has shot a suspect.

On April 13 outside the Barnacles sports bar at Providence Road and Town Center Boulevard, a deputy shot and critically injured Evelio David Rodriguez, 20, of Brandon.

Authorities said two deputies had responded to a trespassing call there and tried to arrest Rodriguez. But he grabbed a Taser from one of the deputies. The three got in an altercation, and one of the deputies shot him in the upper body.

Deputies Desirae Penrose, 27, and Christina Ammons, 45, were placed on routine paid leave as that incident was investigated.

Deputy shoots bank robbery suspect who grabbed knife, sheriff says 04/25/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 25, 2011 11:50pm]
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