TAMPA — An armed robbery suspect was in critical condition after leading officers on a brief chase and shooting himself early Wednesday, police said.
Rashad Thulani Hill, 45, was wanted in Sunday’s robbery of the Noor Meat Market in Tampa, according to Tampa police. Late Tuesday night, investigators learned Hill was near Tampa International Airport and was still armed.
Plain-clothed officers in unmarked cars spotted Hill leaving airport property in a 1999 Lexus sedan. Officers placed tire deflation devices called stop sticks in the road, flattening one of the Lexus’s tires, but Hill kept driving, police said.
A police helicopter monitored the Lexus and officers placed stop sticks on Hillsborough Avenue near Armenia Avenue, flattening another tire. Hill continued driving and when he reached the intersection of North 42nd Street and East Idlewild Avenue, he began to drive “aggressively” police said. Officers began to pursue him on Idlewild but the chase lasted “seconds” before the Lexus struck a pole at 48th Street about 12:50 a.m., according to police.
Officers ordered Hill out of the Lexus. When Hill didn’t respond, officers approached the driver side and found him with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. A gun was visible as Hill was removed from the car.
Hill was taken to a local hospital and listed in critical condition, police said.
According to police, Hill entered Noor’s Meat Market on North 40th Street about 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, pulled a gun, demanded money and fled with cash.
Records show Hill served two stints in Florida state prison for aggravated battery between 2007 and September 2019. When he was released last year, he listed his address on the 3700 block of Idlewild, records show.