Deputy kills suspect in parking lot fight

Reporter: Alex Zequeira

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (Fox 29) - A Martin County deputy is on administrative leave after shooting and killing a suspect.

The shooting happened in Jensen Beach outside the Sears store at the Treasure Coast Square Mall. Investigators say deputy Jason Howard stopped a pick-up truck in the mall parking lot because the man was driving erratically.

He thought that the suspect might be drunk. When he tried to question the driver, two other men in the pick-up became violent and started fighting the deputy. Soon all three men were involved.

Suspects threw the deputy on the ground and started kicking him. That's when deputy Howard fired the gun, killing the driver.

Shawna Senesac, a nearby shopper said, "we were getting ready to get in the car and we heard something that sounded like a firecracker. I heard it again and looked over to where it was coming from and I saw two guys in a white shirt. They looked like they were fighting."

Deputy Howard was treated and released from Martin Memorial Hospital.

Eighteen-year-old Francisco Pablo of Indiantown and a 17-year-old are now charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. The killed victim is 21-year-old Miguel Pablo.