RIVERVIEW -- Northbound traffic on I-75 near US 301 came to a standstill Wednesday as Hillsborough County deputies investigated a shooting involving one of their own.
The road has since reopened.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Larry McKinnon said the incident started with an armed robbery at a Radio Shack in Sun City Center.
The suspect took off toward the interstate with deputies in pursuit.
McKinnon said when the suspect was boxed in, he started spinning his car in circles in the middle of the road and at one point looked like he was going to go southbound in the northbound lanes.
Deputies got out of their vehicles. They said the suspect aimed his car at one of them, hitting the deputy in the leg.
"At some point when he starts and turns and starts driving over and strikes a deputy,” McKinnon said. “We now know he's elevated beyond armed robbery and he has the potential to seriously injure somebody in the traffic, so deputies made a decision at that point to fire and strike the suspect."
The suspect was shot in the shoulder. Witnesses describe what happened next.
"They pulled the fella out of the car, put him on a stretcher and carried him off,” said Jerry Darden.
The deputy who was hit by the suspect's vehicle was treated at a local hospital for injuries to his leg and foot.
A second deputy was injured with a possible dislocated shoulder. Deputies said he was injured at the end of the pursuit by the suspect's attempt to flee. This deputy is being treated at a local hospital. Officials closed a portion of the road as they collected evidence, leaving drivers wondering where to turn.
"We thought we were going to breeze through but by the time we got to the front they blocked all the traffic down to do their investigation,” said driver Darol Petty.
At this point, deputies do not believe the suspect fired any shots at deputies.
Deputies are also questioning a female passenger to determine her involvement. She wasn't injured in the incident but is being treated at a local hospital for an unrelated medical condition.
I-75 remains shut down at Gibsonton Drive. Officials have not said when it will re-open. All southbound lanes of I-75 are open.
Three citizen's vehicles received minor damage but none of those drivers were hurt.