Undercover narcotics investigation goes awry at Walmart in Bradenton

ejohnson@bradenton.comJuly 5, 2012 

BRADENTON -- Bradenton Police officers are seeking an at-large suspect who allegedly fled the scene of an undercover narcotics investigation Thursday in the parking lot at Walmart on Cortez Road in Bradenton.

Officers fired two gunshots at the suspects' vehicle during the incident after it struck an officer and pinned him against another car.

A woman was handcuffed on the east side of the store in the rear parking lot at 5315 Cortez Road W. Two suspects, who were not in the vehicle but are allegedly related to the incident, have been detained, officials said. Two arrests have been made and another subject is in custody, according to police.

Deputy Chief Keith Davis addressed the media in a makeshift news conference at the Bradenton Police Department. He said the suspect fled southbound on foot.

The undercover narcotics division was working about 2:31 p.m. in the west parking lot. A male and female, were inside a dark gray vehicle. The driver put the car in reverse, striking an officer.

Davis said the officer suffered minor injuries, possibly to his hand, when he was pinned between the suspect vehicle and another parked vehicle.

An officer fired a weapon twice, striking the vehicle. The vehicle continued traveling through the parking lot. The subjects fled after parking behind the store.

"There is no indication any of the subjects are injured," Davis said.

A helicopter was canvassing the area southwest of Walmart looking for fleeing subjects.

Davis said the store was not evacuated or closed.

Detectives on the scene were looking over the vehicle. A hubcap and handbag were on the rear of the car.

The investigation is ongoing.

Elizabeth Johnson, Herald crime reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041.

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