Florida mass shooting suspect dies during police chase

A police officer fatally shot a man suspected of a mass shooting in central Florida after a lengthy chase and a carjacking.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A man suspected of a mass shooting in central Florida last month was fatally shot by a police officer after a lengthy chase and a carjacking, authorities said.

The car driven by 21-year-old Alex Greene eventually crashed into a business in Winter Haven. That’s a short drive from Lakeland, where 11 people were injured in the Jan. 30 shooting, Lakeland Police Chief Sammy Taylor said.

“We are very sure that he was in fact involved; To what extent we don’t know yet,” Taylor said.

Taylor said detectives were hoping to bring Greene in with an outstanding robbery warrant to talk with him about the Jan. 30 shooting in a neighborhood near downtown Lakeland, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Tampa.

As investigators from the Lakeland Police Department, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted surveillance, Greene got into a pickup truck and began to drive away, the officer said. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd during an interview. Press conference.

Lakeland police chased them down a busy highway.

Police Capt. Eric Harper was driving an unmarked vehicle and tried to pull over Greene “so we don’t have this chase on a busy highway,” Judd said.

He made a successful maneuver in the pits, and Greene got out of the vehicle and began to run into traffic.

“Why he and the captain didn’t get hit is just the grace of God, because traffic was everywhere,” Judd said.

When Greene realized she couldn’t escape, she ran into a restaurant where a woman was standing outside her car with the doors open, Judd said. The woman saw Greene, closed the passenger door, and tried to close the driver’s side door.

Greene pushed the woman away and got into the car, Judd said. Harper approached, her gun in hand.

“The suspect leaves in her car, she drives toward Captain Harper, who shoots six times,” Judd said. The car continues down a road, meandering through flower beds, and crashes into a building.

Law enforcement officers removed Greene from the car and began performing CPR on him. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“No one else was injured in the chase, for which we are all grateful,” Judd said.

Greene had 10 prior felony charges, including fleeing to evade police, assaulting a law enforcement officer, possession of a weapon and resisting arrest, Judd said. He had an outstanding warrant for robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney’s Office are conducting an investigation into the shooting.

Two people were seriously injured in the January 30 shooting, while the injuries to the eight other victims were not considered life-threatening. The victims were men between the ages of 20 and 35, police said.

A vehicle drove through the neighborhood that afternoon and the suspects opened fire from all four windows of the car, police said. Authorities did not provide details about other suspects in the shooting.

Authorities said they believe the shooting was a “targeted attack.”