1. News
  2. /
  3. Hillsborough

Plant City officer shoots armed man to end ‘violent rampage,’ police say

The shooter was firing at vehicles, then wounded a farmworker. A Plant City officer returned fire and wounded the shooter, according to police.
Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
Published Jan. 15
Updated Jan. 15

PLANT CITY — A man went on a “violent rampage” on Tuesday, shooting at cars and wounding a farmworker until Plant City police tracked him down and shot him with a semiautomatic rifle, authorities said.

The name of the accused shooter and his medical condition were not released by Plant City police late Tuesday. The name and condition of the injured farmworker was also not released.

No law enforcement officers were injured in the incident, officials said.

“We don’t know what his motivation was at this time," said Plant City police Sgt. Alfred Vanduyne during a news conference broadcast by WFLA-Ch. 8. "I’m glad the officers and deputies were able to get a quick resolution to this rampage.”

Gunshots were first reported to 911 at about 12:38 p.m. near Colson Road and Tower Ridge Lane, according to police, about four miles south of downtown Plant City.

Witnesses said the shooter was trying to flag down passing vehicles and then started firing on them. No one in those vehicles are injured, police said, and they were all able to drive away.

Plant City police officers and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies started converging on the scene. Then Vanduyne said they learned of another shooting: Witnesses said a man matching the description of the roadway shooter had shot and wounded a farmworker in a nearby strawberry field.

A sheriff’s helicopter tracked the shooter near the James L. Redman Parkway. He was seen running east and trying to hide in a building and tall grass, Vanduyne said.

A Plant City officer armed with a semiautomatic rifle and a Hillsborough sheriff’s canine deputy were approaching the shooter’s location when he fired at them, Vanduyne said.

The Plant City officer then fired “at least one round” at the shooter with his department-issued rifle, Vanduyne said, striking the man and “ending his violent rampage."

The shooter was taken to a local hospital. No other information about Tuesday’s shooting incidents were released by Plant City police or the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shootings. Both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office will investigate the Plant City officer’s shooting of the suspect.


  1. The techniques are as varied as the costumes when Gasparilla parade-goers beckon for beads from the floats. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
    We were warned. Now the pirates are here. Stay with all day for the latest reports.
  2. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    Police say a motorcycle and another vehicle collided on W. Boy Scout Boulevard Saturday afternoon. At least one person was killed.
  3. A for sale sign is seen in front of a home in the Westchase area of Tampa. CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2013)
    And a spike in cash sales suggests investors were active in the market.
  4. Leading the way up Seddon Channel during the 2014 pirate invasion is the Jose Gasparilla, escorted by a Tampa Police Department boat and surrounded by hundreds of private vessels. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times 2014]
    As many as 100 law enforcement boats from some 20 agencies will keep an eye out for drunk operators and boats in trouble.
  5. Hillsborough deputies say Lesly Mendoza, 5, is missing and endangered because of allegations of abuse. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
    Investigators believe Lesly Mendoza, 5, is endangered because of allegations of abuse.
  6. A look at the construction on the Tierra Verde bridge project which is the bridge between Isla Del Sol and Tierra Verde islands on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 in St. Petersburg. The project began in December 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in summer of 2021. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Dr. Delay takes a deep dive into the construction process for the $56.3 million State Road 679 and Bayway Bridge project .
  7. A proposed bill in the Legislature would set a statewide referendum on whether to amend Florida's constitution to add a year to the period when home buyers can transfer their accumulated benefits under the Save Our Homes cap on property assessments to a new home. Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty says going from two years to three would reduce the possibility that construction delays in a booming real estate market would prevent some buyers from meeting the deadline, costing them potentially thousands 
 of dollars in property tax savings. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times (2019)]
    The bill, the idea of Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty, would give buyers another year to transfer their tax savings under Florida’s Save Our Homes assessment cap to a home they’ve...
  8. Child and family advocate Jack Levine. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    The founder of 4Generations Institute discusses his commitment to children and families.
  9. Miranda Harwood, a fourth-grade math teacher at Brooker Elementary School, is the Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year. [Hillsborough County Public Schools]
    The self-described “data queen” uses humor to keep her students engaged.
  10. This poster was seen January 21 inside a Brandon pet shop owned by All About Puppies, one of two pet retail businesses in Hillsborough County that were granted an exception from county laws prohibiting commercial pet stores from selling animals that came from breeders. [ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Times]
    The proposed ordinance would ban all commercial pet retailers and impose strict regulations on breeders operating within the county.