A St. Petersburg man is facing felony murder charges after a Pinellas County undercover deputy killed an accomplice as both men allegedly tried to kill him last week.
According to the deputy, he was working with the department’s task force on violent crime as it attempted to apprehend a man they say had fled from a pair of traffic stops. The deputy said he arranged for a meeting with the man, but he did not arrive. Instead a second man approached the deputy’s unmarked vehicle, identified him as an undercover deputy, and left.
The deputy says the second man returned with a third man, both of whom were carrying firearms. A gun battle ensued, and the deputy expended a total of 18 rounds in the affray, returning fire from men who carried a military-style semi-automatic rifle and a .40-caliber handgun.
Though it is unclear at present who fired the first round, the carnage was apparent soon after the firing ended. The 29-year-old suspect was struck several times in the gunfight, and deputies who arrived soon after in support of the undercover deputy said they discovered him already lifeless at the scene. The undercover deputy reported no injury and is currently on paid administrative leave as per department policy.
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old suspect was not reported to be injured. He was apprehended a short time later with the help of a K-9 unit. He was booked into the Pinellas County jail on a charge of second-degree felony murder and felon in possession of a firearm. He continues to be held in jail without bond.