PALATKA, Fla. – A traffic stop turned deadly when a fleeing suspect was killed by a Florida Highway Patrol officer after the suspect allegedly shot him in the face.
FHP officer Lawrence Andrew Litzell stopped a maroon Mercury Grand Marquis close to downtown Palatka around 12:44 a.m., according to FHP public information officer Sgt. Dylan Bryan. Two men were inside the car, including 24-year-old Somourian Jamal Wingo, both men fled on foot and split up. Litzell followed one of the suspects in his patrol car for a brief period, then began to chase him on foot. “When one of the subjects then brandished a firearm, displayed a firearm, and shot the trooper, the trooper immediately returned fire, striking the suspect, and killing that suspect,” Bryan said.
Litzell was shot in the face and airlifted to UF Health in Gainesville.
Wingo was found dead near 2nd Street and Laurel Street. A .25 semi-automatic handgun was found at the scene near Wingo, according to Sgt. Bryan. The other suspect is still at large.