Trooper shoots suspect at Pinellas Park cemetery | News
Pinellas Park, Florida -- The Florida Highway Patrol says a trooper shot a suspect in a Pinellas Park cemetery early Monday morning.
The shooting happened just before 6 a.m. at the Royal Palm North Cemetery, located southwest of where Gandy Boulevard meets Interstate 275.
Investigators say they're not ready to release certain information about the shooting, so they carefully phrased what they shared with 10 News.
Trooper Daniel Cole, a 13-year veteran, had gotten a tip about a "property crime in Pinellas Park" and also had been told to look for suspicious activity near the rear of the cemetery, Pinellas Park Police Sergeant Tony Motley said.
Instead of searching the cemetery in the dark by himself, Cole called for backup and walked into the cemetery with two Pinellas Park Police officers.
As the trio got to a large workshop with roll-up garage doors along the edge of the property, Motley said a man came into view.
The suspect had a gun, Motley said. Exactly what was said and done by the trooper and suspect during that confrontation is still under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
We do know the trooper fired at least one shot. It hit the suspect, but is not a life-threatening injury, Motley said.
The suspect was taken to the hospital, where he'll likely be questioned by detectives. The state trooper was not hurt.
It appears the cemetery setting has nothing to do with any creepy connection to the dead. Instead, it looks like it got involved because it's a big, dark place to hide.
Last year, Trooper Cole was investigated after firing a Taser at a woman he was chasing. Danielle Maudsley fell and hit her head on the pavement, and has since been in a vegetative state.
Photo Gallery: Dash cam images of woman's Tasing
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement eventually cleared Cole of any wrongdoing.