Man shot after fleeing in car he tried to buy with fake cash, deputies say

Deputies: Carjacking suspect takes off with owner of vehicle still inside

DELTONA, Fla. – When a car sale turned into a carjacking, the vehicle owner's friend stepped in and shot the man trying to steal the Nissan Altima, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the armed man and his friend arrived at the Walgreens at 1925 Providence Blvd. around 7:30 p.m. Saturday to meet with Michael Clinton-Rodriguez, 31, and sell him a car.

The victim, who was selling the car, asked his friend to ride separately to the store in case the sale went bad, deputies said. The two were communicating by Bluetooth.

Clinton-Rodriguez arrived and took the Altima for a test drive with the victim in the car before he agreed to buy it, according to the Sheriff's Office. Clinton-Rodriguez then handed the victim, who was in the passenger seat, a bundle of cash.

The victim told deputies he began counting and realized the money wasn't real, so he told his friend, who was armed with the handgun at the time, that the transaction was going bad.

Deputies said the friend was approaching the Altima when Clinton-Rodriguez sped off with the victim still inside with him. The victim fought Clinton-Rodriguez as he drove.

The car eventually stopped at a red light at the intersection of Elkcam and Providence boulevards and the victim's friend was able to catch up to them, deputies said. The friend opened the driver's door to the Altima, saw the men fighting and shot Clinton-Rodriguez in the leg, the Sheriff's Office said.

Clinton-Rodriguez again sped off and the victim's friend followed him in his own vehicle, investigators said.

After finding the Altima pulled over near the intersection of Elkcam Boulevard and Oswego Avenue, the victim's friend dragged Clinton-Rodriguez out of the vehicle and helped his friend hold Clinton-Rodriguez down while they flagged down a deputy, authorities said.

Clinton-Rodriguez was flown to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, where he remained in custody Sunday, deputies said. The victim was treated for an injury to his hand. 

Clinton-Rodriguez is facing charges of carjacking, kidnapping and possession of counterfeit currency, according to the Sheriff's Office. His bail is set at $750,000.

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