Carjacking suspect fatally shot at Florida Publix parking lot, deputies say

Authorities say legal gun owner shot suspect in self-defense

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars outside the Sun City Center where a suspected carjacker was fatally shot. (Image: HCSO)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - A man accused of attempting to carjack vehicles near a Tampa area Publix was fatally shot Tuesday when a licensed gun owner shot the suspected carjacker in self-defense, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies responded to the shopping center at 4854 Sun City Blvd. just after 9 a.m. Tuesday for reports of a shooting. A man was found in the parking lot suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body, officials said. He was taken to South Bay Hospital, where he died, deputies said.

Investigators said, that prior to the shooting, the man had attempted to carjack at least four cars in the Publix parking lot and entered the businesses in the shopping center armed with a handgun.

At some point, an employee of a nearby business notified their manager about the suspect's behavior in the parking lot, according to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies said the manager went out to check on his vehicle and was confronted by the armed carjacker.

Deputies said it appears the manager shot the suspect in self-defense. The man, who has not been identified, is a licensed gun owner.

Authorities said the man who shot the suspect was a manager in the shopping complex, but a Publix spokesperson said the man was not a Publix store manager.

Sheriff's Office officials said the man killed has an extensive criminal history involving drugs. He has not been identified pending notification of his family.

No charges have been filed and the man who shot the suspect was cooperating with authorities, according to the Sheriff's Office.

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