Tampa officer shoots at teen who pointed gun his direction, police say

The teen was arrested after he ran away and dropped the gun, police said.
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Published Aug. 19, 2021|Updated Aug. 19, 2021

TAMPA — A Tampa police officer shot at a 17-year-old boy early Thursday morning in the area of Nebraska and Orchid avenues after the teen pointed a gun at him, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Police said the officer, whose name wasn’t released, approached the teen, who was on a bike, about 1:30 a.m. because he “matched the physical description” of someone wanted for robbery. When the officer approached the teen in an unmarked vehicle, police say he recognized that he was not the robbery suspect but saw he had a handgun.

The officer called for backup while watching the teen ride away, police said. Moments later, the officer tried to approach the teen, who police said pointed the weapon in the direction of the officer.

Police said the officer fired on the teen in “imminent fear of his life.” The teen ran away and dropped the gun.

Officers took the boy into custody at the intersection of Ninth Street and Linebaugh Avenue.

Neither the officer nor the teen was injured.

The Tampa Bay Times is not naming the 17-year-old because he is a juvenile. He was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed firearm and being a minor in possession of a firearm.

Police said the officer is 36 years old and has been with the agency for three and a half years. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine in these cases.