Police: Officer shot at suspect in parking lot

- An officer shot at a suspect at a busy shopping center Friday night, according to the West Melbourne Police Department.

Officers were responding to a report of a theft at the Kohl's in Hammock Landing shopping center Friday night. 

Police say while on the way to the location, they received information that the store's loss prevention officer was running after the suspect outside of the store. 

Witnesses say the suspect got into a red Nissan and drove away toward Norfolk Parkway. An officer coming to the shopping center from Norfolk Parkway saw the suspect at a four way stop.

West Melbourne police say the officer got out of his cruiser, drew his gun and yelled at the driver to comply. The suspect started driving toward the officer before fired several shots at the car, in fear of his life. The suspect was last seen driving away near Palm Bay Road. 

Shortly afterward, Palm Pay Police reported to West Melbourne that a person who had been shot was at the Palm Bay Community Hospital. Police went to the hospital and found the red Nissan in the parking lot with clear damage from the shooting. 

Inside the hospital, police say 35-year-old Christopher Stringer received medical care for gunshot wounds and was taken to another hospital. They were able to secure a warrant for arrest and he was charged with Attempted First Degree Murder, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer, Retail Theft, Resisting a Retail Merchant, and Driving on a Suspended License with Knowledge. 

Police say, Stringer will be taken to jail once released from the hospital. 

The officer involved in the shooting was placed on a standard administrative leave in such incidents. Police continue to investigate and ask any other witnesses to contact West Melbourne Police Department at 321-723-9673. 

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