DeLand police officer shoots alleged shoplifters

Man drove directly at cop, police say

DeLAND, Fla. - A DeLand police officer shot and wounded two shoplifting suspects when they tried to run him over as he attempted to stop them, according to officials.

Police say the shooting happened Monday afternoon in a Race Trac gas station parking lot. A clerk told police that a shoplifter had left the store and pointed out a vehicle in the parking lot.

Officer Joshua Santos approached the car and the driver accelerated backward, crashing into a car occupied by a man and his child, according to police.  The car then accelerated and came directly at Santos, who fired his weapon, police said.

Both suspects were taken to the hospital and were under guard late Monday.  Police on Tuesday said they were in stable condition.

Santos, 28, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, police said.

Santos has been with the DeLand Police Department since January 2010.  He was commended in 2011 for his role in capturing a suspect during an in progress burglary and has no discipline records, according to police.

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