MELBOURNE, Florida – A Melbourne police officer shot a burglary suspect in a car that was driving towards the officer around 2 a.m. on Thursday, September 12, 2019.
Melbourne Police officers were alerted by members of the Orange County Sheriff’s office that they were following a vehicle occupied by multiple suspects who had just committed several commercial burglaries in Palm Bay and West Melbourne.
The suspect vehicle was followed to the area of Eau Gallie Boulevard and Sarno Road in Melbourne, Florida where the suspects exited their car.
Officers from the Melbourne Police Department approached the suspects as they were trying to open several cash boxes that they had just stolen.
The suspects ran back to their vehicle and fled.
Officers in marked police vehicles gave chase and pursued the suspect vehicle.
An officer deployed stop sticks, which took effect and deflated the tires on the suspect vehicle.
The suspect vehicle continued fleeing to the parking lot of 1279 Houston Street.
Police followed the vehicle into the parking lot, and one of the officers exited his vehicle and gave multiple warnings for the suspect vehicle to stop.
The suspect vehicle drove toward the officer when he fired one shot from his handgun, striking the front seat passenger.
All 5 adult suspects in the vehicle were taken into custody.
The suspect that was shot was transported to a local hospital where he is being treated for a non-life-threatening injuries.
The officer has been on the department for approximately 9 months. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is conducting the investigation into the officer’s use of force.
The Melbourne Police Department is actively investigating this case.
If you have any information regarding any of these cases, you are encouraged to call CrimeLine at 1 (800)423-TIPS – or call the Melbourne Police Department at (321) 608-MPD1 (6731).