Monday, February 19, 2018
Public safety

Police release name of suspect in drug raid that turned deadly

TAMPA — The man shot and killed Tuesday night by Tampa police during a drug raid had only a brief criminal history in Florida, records show.

The man, identified by police as Jason Joseph Westcott, 29, had been the target of an undercover operation for months.

Officers said they purchased marijuana from him on several occasions, and each time he had a gun. So when police officers went to execute a search warrant at his home at 906 W Knollwood St. about 7 p.m. Tuesday, they brought along a SWAT team.

When they entered Westcott's home, another man in the front room of the home immediately surrendered. But when they opened the door of a back bedroom, police said, Westcott raised a gun and threatened officers.

Two officers opened fire, shooting at least twice. Westcott was wounded and later died at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Police say the surviving man could face charges.

According to records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Westcott was arrested in 2002 on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty and a judge withheld adjudication, the records show. In 2006 and 2011, he was arrested on traffic violations. He was arrested again in 2012 for failing to appear in court on one of the charges.

The Tampa officers involved in Tuesday's shooting were placed on administrative leave while the incident was under investigation, as per department protocol.

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