A prisoner overpowered a guard, stole his gun and a car, then led seven officers on a wild chase across Polk County on Wednesday before he was killed in a shoot-out with police, officials said.
"Seven officers were involved in the chase and all were there, but we don't know how many were actually shooting _ possibly four or five," said Steve Hulsey, spokesman for the Polk Sheriff's Department.
Tommy Calvin Williams, a 36-year-old Polk County Jail inmate from Winter Haven, was shot in the head, Hulsey said.
Williams made his getaway during transport from the Bartow jail to Lakeland for a court-ordered psychological evaluation, Hulsey said.
He handcuffed the corrections officer and the doctor together, shed his prison garb and took the doctor's clothes, then made his escape in a secretary's car, leading police on a 16-mile chase that ended in a hail of gunfire in a residential section of Winter Haven, said sheriff's Capt. Wayne Cross.
Lakeland police saw Williams in the stolen car and gave chase when he refused to stop. As the chase moved out into the county, police contacted the Sheriff's Department for assistance. Deputies joined the pursuit.
When the fugitive drove into Winter Haven city limits, local police there also joined the chase.
Hulsey said Williams opened fire on pursuing law enforcement officers in a residential area before a deputy forced his car off the road.
Williams was shot in the head after he came out firing at the three deputies, two Winter Haven officers and two Lakeland police officers, Hulsey said.
"Everybody was firing at everybody else," said witness Leon Mills. "I saw a lot of shooting."
No officers or bystanders were injured.
Hulsey said he didn't know how many shots were fired by police or the prisoner.
Williams was being held on charges of armed robbery, fleeing to elude police, reckless driving, battery on an officer and resisting arrest with violence, Hulsey said.