Sheriff: Gunman killed after shooting Florida deputy 3 times

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 3:50 PM EDT
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A Florida deputy is recovering from three gunshot wounds he sustained Sunday night near St. Petersburg, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Cpl. Matt Aitken is in stable condition after the shooting.

Officials said Aitken and his K-9, named Taco, spotted the suspect, Zion Bostick, 23, near a church and began tracking him accompanied by Sgt. Jake Viano.

The sheriff's office said they tracked the suspect into a fenced backyard, where they said Bostick was waiting and opened fire on Aitken with a 9mm, striking him three times.

The suspect then shot at Viano three times, who returned fire, killing the suspect, according to the sheriff's office.

Aitken was rushed to the hospital and is in stable condition. The sheriff's office said Aitken was shot in the neck, hand and leg. The injured deputy underwent surgery Monday morning.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said they expect Aitken to survive his injuries.

Neither Viano nor K-9 Taco was injured.

In a Monday news conference, the sheriff's office said that they had been looking for Bostick because he missed a scheduled court hearing last week. A judge had issued a warrant for his arrest.

Gualtieri said Bostick had previously been arrested 18 times and had been in state prison two times, first going to prison when he was 17 years old. Bostick was released from prison last year before Sunday's shooting.

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