LAKELAND — A suspect in last week’s mass shooting in Lakeland is dead after leading police officers on a lengthy pursuit Monday afternoon that included a carjacking, the suspect being shot and then crashing into a Winter Haven business.
Multiple law enforcement agencies including Lakeland Police Department were conducting surveillance of Alex Greene, 21, in Eagle Lake on Monday afternoon.
Police Chief Sam Taylor said the officers wanted to arrest Greene on an outstanding warrant for burglary of a dwelling and conspiracy to commit burglary in hopes of landing an interview to ask questions about the mass shooting that injured 11 people.
“We are very confident he was in fact involved, to what extent we don’t know yet,” Taylor said.
While under surveillance, Greene got into a white Chevrolet Silverado and attempted to flee from officers, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. Lakeland Captain Eric Harper pursued in his unmarked law enforcement vehicle starting on Cooley Road in Eagle Lake.
Greene led officers on a 10-to-15-minute chase through Eagle Lake into Winter Haven before heading west on Havendale Boulevard. Harper attempted a precision immobilization technique to stop the pursuit on a heavily trafficked roadway.
Greene jumped out of his vehicle, according to Judd, and began to flee down Havendale Boulevard on foot. When he couldn’t outrun the police officer, Greene ran into a nearby restaurant.
There was an elderly woman who was standing outside her car, with the vehicle running, outside of the restaurant. Greene saw her and began trying to get into the vehicle, according to Judd. The woman slammed the passenger door shut, but Greene pushed her out of the way and stole the vehicle.
The Lakeland officer came around the corner of the restaurant and drew his gun, pointing it at Greene. Judd said Harper demanded that he stop the vehicle.
Greene drove the vehicle toward Harper, according to police, who fired his gun six times. At least one of the bullet hit the suspect. Despite being shot, Judd said, Greene rammed into a car in the restaurant’s parking lot and sped onto Havendale Boulevard. The suspect swerved over the median into oncoming traffic, before crashing into the Hamilton Company Security Systems building. Deputies pulled the suspect from the building and began to administer CPR, according to police. Greene was transported to Winter Haven Hospital where he was declared dead.
“No one else was injured in the pursuit, which we are all grateful for,” Judd said.
Taylor would not provide any further information on the other suspects in last Monday’s mass shooting.
“We have some very promising leads and some people we are interested in following up with,” he said.