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Suspect flees Crystal River traffic stop, injures deputies, motorist

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office have arrested a Crystal River man who is alleged to have fled a traffic stop and injured two deputies and a fellow motorist.

The CCSO said that at about  5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 39-year-old John Travis Wilson of Crystal River was arrested after he is said to have fled from a traffic stop in the vicinity of the Sunoco gas station on the corner of State Road 44 and Crede Avenue in Crystal River.

While a deputy was attempting to speak with the vehicle operator, the CCSO said, Wilson suddenly fled in his vehicle and injured two deputies when ran his vehicle into a patrol car. In an attempt to eliminate the threat to public safety, deputies fired their weapons at the suspect. Based on evidence collected at the scene, deputies tentatively identified Wilson as the driver of that vehicle.

While attempting to elude deputies, Wilson is said to have struck a motorist, causing serious injury, before the damage to the vehicle brought him to a stop in the parking lot of the Auto Zone on S.R. 44. From there, Wilson fled on foot into the adjacent neighborhood. Deputies captured Wilson, taking him into custody without further incident.

“This was a very dangerous situation where many lives were put at risk Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. “We are extremely thankful that none of our deputies were seriously injured, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the innocent victim who was struck and seriously injured by the suspect as he was fleeing the scene,” said Sheriff Prendergast.

“We will work closely alongside our partners at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement throughout the investigation into this incident.”

As is common practice with all officer involved shootings, the incident will be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Additional information will be provided to the public as it becomes available.

Update:

As Wilson presented a clear and present danger to the public, the deputies fired their weapons at the suspect, attempting to neutralize the threat in accordance with their tactical training.

Wilson was shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Neither of the deputies involved sustained life threatening injuries. As he fled the scene, Wilson cause a traffic accident that severely injured the driver of a motorcycle. The victim in currently receiving medical treatment.

After deputies captured the suspect in a nearby neighborhood as he attempted to flee on foot, a K9 search produced illegal narcotics that Wilson is suspected of having in his possession when deputies performed the initial traffic stop.

As is common practice with all deputy involved shootings, the deputies have been placed on administrative leave pending the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s final assessment of the incident. We will be providing updates to the public as more information becomes available.

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