Tampa police kill man who pointed AK-47 at them during chase after mother stabbed in front of 3 kids
A man was shot dead by Tampa police when he led them on a chase Monday evening after stabbing a woman multiple times in front of three kids, according to officials.
The man, a 33-year-old who was not publicly identified, stabbed a woman multiple times in the 2800 block of 35th Street while in front of three children between the ages of 2 and 6, officials said. Police initially said there were two children, but later said there were three.
The man left with the kids and dropped them off with his brother, police said. The man then stole his brother’s AK-47, which was later pointed at officers during the chase.
The man’s car was spotted at 5:40 p.m. headed south near Dale Mabry Highway and Spruce Street, officials said.
The suspect drove around spike strips that were deployed before he crashed into a blue sedan on Florida Avenue, where the man opened fire, officials said.
Multiple officers shot back, and the man was killed, according to police.
Sabrina Turner said she was caught in the crossfire while she was driving to work on North Florida Avenue.
“I was terrified,” she said. “I tried to get down on the floor and hide. I knew I was gonna get shot. I just didn’t know where, if I was gonna survive.”
Turner ducked for cover in her driver’s seat.
“I saw my door just kind of fling open and a police officer just grabbed me and ran me this way to cover behind a building,” she said. “They were still shooting back and forth.”
Police Chief Lee Bercaw called the officers “heroes” and offered thoughts to the woman who was stabbed and taken to a hospital in critical condition.
No other injuries were reported.
“This suspect was a public menace and deadly threat to our community,” Bercaw said. “He had no regard for human life.”
“No one should have to witness the chaos that this suspect caused our community,” Bercaw said.