St. Cloud officer struck by vehicle shoots at fleeing driver

Gunfire strikes nearby home

By Brianna Volz - Web producer, Matt Petrillo - Reporter

ST. CLOUD, Fla. - A St. Cloud police officer shot at a driver Sunday morning who hit the officer with a vehicle during a traffic stop, police said.

Police said the officer tried to pull the driver over near Cypress Grove Court inside the Cypress Preserve Subdivision just after 12:15 a.m. The driver drove off in his vehicle and hit the officer.

Police said the officer fired at the vehicle and hit the driver's side window, also striking a nearby home.

The driver continued driving recklessly and later jumped from the moving vehicle, police said.

Officers said the vehicle continued moving until it hit a parked vehicle.

The driver fled, and the officer suffered minor injuries, officers said.

When the officer fired his gun, one of the bullets struck the home of Justin Mitchell, feet away from the room where he happened to be.

"I'm sitting at my desk here, playing a video game, where fake people are shooting at me, all the while not realizing real bullets are flying at my house," he said. "Why would the police be shooting in a residential area, pointing at a house?"

St. Cloud police said the department will pay for the damage to Mitchell's home.

"That's gotta be like 30 cents worth of paint. I think it's less about the damage and more of the concept of firing a gun, pointed at a house," Mitchell said.

St. Cloud police said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.

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