OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla (WOFL FOX 35) - The call came in around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Lakeland police asked for help stopping two Lakeland teens who they said were driving a stolen car into Osceola County. The driver was 17-yeas-old and his passenger was 15-years-old, say deputies.
On the State Road 429 Toll Road, near Sinclair Road, is where Osceola deputies set up spike strips as they tried to stop the teens.
Deputies said the suspect car went around those stop sticks, spun out of control, and stopped right there in the median.
As a Deputy got out of his car to get closer, Sheriff Rus Gibson said the teenage suspect drove into the Deputy's path.
"This action placed my Deputy in fear for his life. and he instinctively retrieved his firearm from his holster, and fire shots towards the suspect," Sheriff Gibson said Saturday morning.
The teen was shot and rushed to the hospital, where he is reportedly in stable condition, said Gibson.
Sheriff Russ Gibson said, "That is definitely a threat on the Deputy's life. He had no choice but to do what he did to protect his life."
Gibson said he is just glad things didn't turn out worse.
"You can't put a price tag on somebody's life," He explained.
No one else was hurt in the incident. The 17-year-old is now facing attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.. Both teens could be looking at grand theft auto charges. The deputy will be on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation.
"I'm very proud of them, and the work they did this morning," The sheriff said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.