TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A man being driven to police headquarters for questioning in the death of his 4-year-old son shot and killed two officers on Tuesday and then fatally shot a state trooper, authorities said.
The man then barricaded himself inside a gas station about 45 miles north of Tampa and was believed to be holding a female hostage.
A SWAT team was at the scene, said police Chief Bennie Holder.
In an interview with radio station WFLA, the man said he shot the two officers, then fled.
He said his son’s death was accidental, he did not want to go to prison or be electrocuted, and that he wanted to talk to his wife. Police said she was on her way to the gas station.
The man identified himself as Hank Carr. Earlier police reports said his name was Joseph Lee Bennett, 33.
Two Tampa homicide detectives were shot to death about 2 p.m. as they drove the handcuffed suspect to police headquarters for questioning.
The suspect then carjacked a white Ford Ranger and shot a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who tried to stop him as he fled north along the highway, police said.
The man told the radio station that police were shooting at him at every overpass, shot out a tire on the stolen vehicle and wounded him before he made it to the gas station.
About an hour before the officers were shot, the suspect was taken in handcuffs from his home. He and his wife had told detectives their son was dragging a rifle along behind him when they yelled at him, the gun went off and he was shot in the head.
The couple rushed the boy to a nearby fire-rescue station which also serves as a station for neighborhood police.
Police confiscated three rifles from the home, including a Chinese version of the AK-47 assault rifle.