ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando police officer shot a kidnapping suspect at a shopping center on West Colonial Drive Wednesday morning, Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolón said.
Police said the shooting happened at 2124 West Colonial Drive in the Western Way Shopping Center parking lot.
Rolón said an officer was conducting surveillance around 10 a.m. on North Westmoreland Drive in Parramore when he saw a man being forced into a vehicle by two other men, identified Wednesday evening as Trave Billings and De’Angelo Stephenson, both 29 years old.
The Orlando police sergeant reported the kidnapping to dispatch and followed the vehicle as the suspects attempted to evade the officer.
During the pursuit, one of the suspects bailed out of the car and attempted to carjack a driver in the Western Way Shopping Center, Rolón said. Another officer who responded to the kidnapping and carjacking fired on Billings, the chief said.
Police said Billings was armed with two handguns. He was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition, according to the chief.
Investigators are interviewing the second suspect in the vehicle involved in the kidnapping and the kidnapping victim, who were both unharmed.
No officers were injured.
The Orlando Police Department later identified the officer who shot Billings as Officer Kyle Medvetz, who was hired by the department in 2013. Medvetz has been relieved of duty with pay pending the results of the investigation into the use of force.
Rolón said the sergeant who saw the kidnapping was not the officer who shot the suspect. The chief said the sergeant was surveilling the Westmoreland Drive area after residents had reported drug activity.
Rolón praised the Parramore community for reporting the activity, saying otherwise the kidnapping might have gone unreported.
Billings and Stephenson are both facing multiple charges.
Check back for updates on this developing story.