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Traffic stop ends in chase, shooting

TAMPA — Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that left a man injured Sunday night.

An officer was trying to conduct a traffic stop on a Dodge Challenger for an expired tag and seat belt violation at 11:40 p.m. near Hillsborough and Armenia avenues.

The car didn't stop, and a nearby Tampa police helicopter followed it. Moments later, the vehicle crashed into a traffic sign at Coolidge and Hamilton avenues.

The driver got out and ran into the woods, Tampa police said. Officers and K-9s followed the man. He was spotted leaving the woods in the 6900 block of Coolidge Avenue. Sgt. Rick Ubinas, a 17-year police department veteran, told the man to stop and show his hands, but he didn't comply, police said.

Ubinas shot the man in fear that he may be armed, police said. The man was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with reportedly non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver was identified as Edward Thomas, 25, of Tampa. After he was shot, Thomas told police he didn't want to go back to prison.

Thomas was convicted of attempted second-degree murder in 2008, prison records show. In May, he left prison on supervised release.

Ubinas was placed on paid administrative leave.

Thomas faces fleeing, driving without a valid driver's license and violation of probation charges. More charges are pending, Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said.

Traffic stop ends in chase, shooting 10/01/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 1, 2012 12:53pm]
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