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Man shot by officer in Robles Park prostitution sting

TAMPA — An undercover Tampa police officer shot and wounded a man early Monday during a prostitution sting in the Robles Park area.

Officer Alberto Burgos shot Issac Rodriguez, 40, in the neck about 1:30 a.m. during a scuffle, police say.

Rodriguez remained in critical condition late Monday at St. Joseph's Hospital. The officer suffered only scrapes and bruises, but it was an eerie scene for those who responded to help, said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

The shooting happened about 150 feet from the place where Hank Earl Carr fatally shot two Tampa police detectives exactly 10 years ago that day.

Burgos was investigating complaints of prostitution at Robles Park early Monday. He drove an unmarked police van on Floribraska Avenue between Elmore Street and Central Avenue.

Heather M. Nunn and two men, Rodriguez and Yuber Sanchez, 32, approached him and arranged to meet at a more secluded spot at Elmore Street and Interstate 275, police say.

There, the officer got a price for sex with Nunn: $50. The officer told the group he needed to go get the money.

When he returned, Rodriguez and Sanchez grabbed Burgos by the back of the neck and pulled him from the van. They tried to rob him and began punching and kicking him, police say.

Another undercover officer was hiding in the back of the police van and immediately called for backup, McElroy said.

One of the suspects pulled out a knife, and Burgos opened fire, she said. Nunn and Sanchez both ran. Police captured Nunn and issued a warrant for Sanchez's arrest. He was last seen wearing a rainbow-colored golf shirt, tan shorts and a hat.

Burgos, 30, joined the department three years ago after serving in the Army. He spent Monday recovering at home and will be placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is reviewed, a standard practice.

Rodriguez, of St. Petersburg, and Sanchez both have criminal records, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Rodriguez served a year in prison for cocaine possession and violently resisting an officer. Sanchez served three years in prison for burglary and distributing heroin.

Nunn, of Dade City, who had no previous record, faces charges of robbery, burglary and prostitution, jail records show.

News researcher Will Short Gorham contributed to this report. Abbie VanSickle can be reached at vansickle@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3373.

Man shot by officer in Robles Park prostitution sting 05/19/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008 11:34pm]
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