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Tampa police says driver shot after hitting patrol cruiser and trying to run over officer

Tampa police gather evidence around a stolen Chrysler Concorde.  Suspect Derrick Sheffield, 26, was wounded Sunday.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Tampa police gather evidence around a stolen Chrysler Concorde. Suspect Derrick Sheffield, 26, was wounded Sunday.

TAMPA — A car chase rattled an east Tampa neighborhood Sunday evening, ending with a crash, bullets and a wounded suspect.

It started just before 6 p.m., when officers ran the license tag of a white Chrysler Concorde that passed them as they sat at a traffic light at 50th Street and Melbourne Boulevard, said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

The tag search showed that the car had been stolen this month.

Tampa police Officers Dustin Kennedy, 25, and Christopher Bovina, 37, tried to pull the 26-year-old driver, Derrick Sheffield, over, but he hit the gas, they went after him, authorities said.

The pair chased the suspect for about a minute, McElroy said. At 26th Street, Sheffield tried to make a left onto 46th Street but he lost control of the car and slammed into a chain link fence in the Highland Pines neighborhood.

The officers pulled up behind, and were about to get out of the car when Sheffield threw his vehicle in reverse and floored it, McElroy said.

The Chrysler hit the patrol cruiser, spinning it around.

Moments later, Kennedy fired at Sheffield, thinking that his partner was in danger of being run over, officials said.

Sheffield was taken to Tampa General Hospital with a shoulder wound. He was in stable condition later Sunday, McElroy said.

She added that the department's Internal Affairs Bureau and shoot team, along with the State Attorney's Office, would investigate. Kennedy also will be put on paid leave.

Neither he nor Bovina, both of whom have four years of law enforcement experience, were injured.

Henry Felton was making dinner when he heard several gunshots fired outside his home on 46th Street. At first, the 63-year-old thought firecrackers were going off somewhere along his usually quiet street.

After finishing up his supper, he came outside like many of his neighbors to see what was going on. The yellow crime scene tape and crashed car down the way shocked him. But not enough to prevent dessert after a short look around.

"I've been here 32 years, and this street is usually very peaceful," he said. "It's 48th and 49th that are the drug holes. I've never seen this happen before."

Chandra Broadwater can be reached at [email protected], or 661-2454.

Tampa police says driver shot after hitting patrol cruiser and trying to run over officer 05/17/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 18, 2009 7:11am]
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