ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - A suspect is dead after firing shots at a K9 officer and a Pinellas County deputy, official said. Both are expected to survive.
Before 2 a.m. Friday, a deputy with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle near 3rd Avenue South and 26th Street in St. Petersburg. The driver, identified as 23-year-old Elijah Johnson, did stop, but then fled from the scene, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Shortly after, officials said Johnson's car was found abandoned a block away near 2nd Avenue South and 26th Street. A St. Pete K9 officer and his police dog, K9 Titan, began tracking and searching for Johnson. That's when the suspect shot Titan in the leg, and fled, again, police said. Titan had surgery and is in stable condition. His handler, Officer Greg Shone, was not injured.
After the first shooting, investigators said the suspect fired shots at a sergeant with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Sgt. David Stang was inside his vehicle at the time and was shot in the shoulder, officials said. He was transported to Bayfront Health and is in stable condition.
"It's terrible. The only thing that can be worse is if he was in worse shape," said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. The sheriff said Stang will need surgery.
Officials said they found Johnson dead with a gunshot wound and it appears he died by suicide. They said no deputy or officer fired a weapon.
The shootings remain under investigation. Information on the cause of the initial traffic stop has not been released.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.