A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was injured and a man was killed during a shootout early Saturday morning in Wesley Chapel, according to the agency.
The incident started to unfold about 3:15 a.m., after a trooper spotted two men who appeared to be trying to steal a truck or items inside it along Interstate 75, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson, in a news release. The men took off in a second truck and headed north.
The trooper chased after the men, who fired several shots as they drove, Gaskins said. One round struck a tanker truck also on the freeway.
When the men reached State Road 50, they turned around and started south on I-75, as two other troopers joined the chase, Gaskins said. They took the exit at Overpass Road, and a trooper performed a precision immobilization technique, or PIT maneuver, to stop the truck.
The men then ran into a nearby wooded area, while troopers followed. One man surrendered, Gaskins said. The other took out a handgun.
The man and a trooper exchanged shots. Gaskins said the trooper was shot in the torso and airlifted to a hospital. The trooper’s condition was stable late Saturday morning, Gaskins said.
The man, whom authorities did not identify, died at the scene. Gaskins did not say where he was shot or how many times.
The other man was also taken to a hospital for treatment. Gaskins did not provide details about how the man was injured or release his name. Charges against him are pending.
The Pasco and Hernando county sheriff’s offices are helping Florida Highway Patrol continue the investigation.
Times staff writer Rebecca Woolington contributed to this report.