DELAND, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Authorities in Volusia County are investigating a shooting incident involving a sheriff's deputy and a police officer with the City of DeLand.
According to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, a man wanted in a recent shooting in DeLeon Springs was shot by the law enforcement officers following a pursuit in the 3800 block of N. U.S. Highway 17. The suspect, Dillon Larson Parker, 33, was transported in critical condition to Halifax Health Medical Center, suffering from two gunshots wounds -- one injury to the thigh and another to the chest.
"They basically took him [Parker] down, and then the ambulance came, and they hooked him to oxygen and they brought the helicopter down and airlifted him to the hospital," explained witness Kali Taylor.
Prior to the shooting, Sheriff Chitwood said the Lake County Sheriff's Office notified his agency that Parker was spotted traveling from Lake County into Volusia County. Shorty thereafter, a Volusia County deputy saw Parker driving along U.S. 17. Parker swerved into the deputy's lane and pursuit ensued, according to Chitwood.
Additional deputies threw out "Stop Sticks" ahead of the pursuit, which prompted Parker to lose control of his car and go off the road. Chitwood said Parker fired shots at one deputy, and when a second deputy arrived, that deputy exchanged gunfire with Parker.
It was at that time that a DeLand police officer, on his way to work, pulled over and became involved in a foot pursuit of Parker. Sheriff Chitwood said that, as Parker charged at the police officer with a gun, that officer fired shots at Parker.
"I will say that both the deputy and the DeLand police officer had an angel on their shoulders," Sheriff Chitwood said, during an afternoon news conference. "You got a violent felon, who's got his hand on a firearm, tries to take out the police, and eventually ends up getting shot by us."
Chitwood described Parker as a transient in DeLand who was on the run following the Nov. 10 shooting of Daniel Dekmar, 33. Dekmar remains in critical condition at Halfiax Health Medical Center. Witnesses at the scene told deputies the shooting followed an argument in the driveway of a residence between Parker and Dekmar.
"Every day, we have law enforcement officers putting their lives on the line, to take into custody dangerous felons like this," said DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger. "He [Parker] was not going to surrender. He was going to try to take out police and kill police officers, so thank God their training kicked in."
A passenger who was traveling with Parker is in custody for questioning, but that individual was not immediately identified.
Parker had been facing charges of attempted murder, felony battery and aggravated battery with a firearm, related to the Nov. 10 incident. Additional charges are pending.