ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – An Orange County sheriff’s deputy shot and critically injured a gunman Sunday night after the man opened fire on him during a struggle, authorities said.
The shooting happened in the parking lot of a shopping plaza at the corner of West Colonial and Apopka Vineland in Orange County.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Eric Lopez was called to East Gourmet Chinese Food after a window was broken. Witnesses pointed out the culprit, later identified by authorities as Philip George Nomikos, 35, and Lopez approached him, sheriff’s officials said.
Authorities said Lopez and Nomikos got into a struggle and Nomikos pulled out a gun and fired one shot at Lopez.
“It was a near miss,” Orange County sheriff’s Deputy Chief Larry Zwieg said.
Just after 9 pm, OCSO responded to a criminal mischief call at 8010 W Colonial. Victims had a broken window to a business and pointed out suspect. Deputy approached the suspect who pulled this gun & fired a round. Deputy returned fire. Suspect critical. Deputy not injured. pic.twitter.com/fNSq0rQJ4X— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) January 13, 2020
Lopez returned fire, striking the gunman several times, officials said.
Nomikos was taken to a hospital in critical condition, officials said. Lopez was not injured.
Sheriff’s officials said it’s not known why Nomikos broke the window of the business.
Nomikos was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.
The incident was captured on Lopez’s body-worn camera, but it’s not known when the video will be released.
Lopez, who’s been with the agency since November 2017, will be temporarily reassigned to administrative duties. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the deputy-involved shooting, which is standard procedure in law enforcement shootings.
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