Suspect in Lakeland shooting that injured 11 dies after police pursuit, Polk sheriff says

Alex Greene, 21, shot at least 6 times after police chase in Polk County, sheriff says

Police lights at a crime scene.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A man shot and killed by police in Polk County on Monday is believed to be involved in a drive-by shooting that injured 11 last week, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

During a press conference on Monday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said detectives from the Lakeland Police Department, the ATF and Florida Department of Law Enforcement were conducting a surveillance on Alex Greene in connection with the shooting on Jan. 30 that wounded 11, including two critically.

Greene, 21, jumped into a pickup truck Monday and started to flee during the surveillance with police pursuing, Judd said.

The suspect drove through Eagle Lake and Winter Haven to Havendale Boulevard where Lakeland police used a pit maneuver on Greene’s vehicle, Judd said.

Greene jumped out of the vehicle, which contained cocaine, marijuana, nearly $3,000 and two handguns, and ran into traffic on Havendale Boulevard before he started to run around a restaurant, according to deputies.

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At that point, Judd said that Greene encountered an elderly woman sitting in her car with her door open and jumped in, pushing her away. After carjacking the woman’s vehicle, Greene drives away, ignoring Harper’s orders to stop, Judd said.

According to Judd, Greene drove the stolen vehicle toward the detective, who shot at Greene six times. Greene continued driving on Havendale Boulevard through a parking lot before crashing into a building.

Greene was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to Judd.

Judd said the shooting is under investigation by the “Officer Involved Shooting Team.”

Brian Haas, the State Attorney for the 10th Judicial Circuit, covering Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties, said the team that will investigate the shooting is made up of officers from those jurisdictions.

“We want the investigation to be done transparently, but efficiently, and we want the public to have all of the answers that they’re entitled to at the end. They’ll be someone from Hardee County, Highlands County and various agencies in Polk County,” Hass said.

Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor also spoke about the shooting that happened in his city’s jurisdiction last week.

“We are very confident that he is in fact involved—to what extent we don’t know yet. We’re still working through that,” Taylor said. “We were just trying to arrest him for the warrant in the hopes of getting an interview with him relative to the shooting we had here in Lakeland last week and it turned into the pandemonium and mayhem that you see here.”

Judd said Greene had 10 previous felony charges, including fleeing to elude law enforcement officers, battery on a law enforcement officer, possession of weapons, resisting arrest and an outstanding warrant for burglary.

In addition to this, Greene would have been facing charges for fleeing to elude, attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, robbery and carjacking, resisting arrest and possession of drugs with intent to sell.

“But listen, only the wicked flee when the police try to stop you, and that’s what occurred here. Had he simply not run from us, not fled, then none of this would have happened,” Judd said.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.