LAKELAND -- A Lakeland police officer and a wanted man were injured in a shootout Tuesday morning, authorities said.
The shootout happened around 10:30 a.m. in the area of 800 N Florence Ave.
According to police, Sgt. Jeff Gary and officer Doug Mills responded to N Lake Wire Park to arrest a man wanted on a warrant for resisting arrest without violence.
"As the officers made contact with the suspect, he drew a handgun from his front waist area under his shirt, pointed it at Officer Mills and fired at him," Interim Police Chief Larry Giddens said.
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The officers then returned fire, police said.
Mills, 36, was shot in the upper arm. He was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he received treatment for his injury. He has since been released.The suspect was shot several times, and is also receiving treatment at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. He is currently in serious condition.
Giddens said the suspect had four firearms on him at the time, and that they were all concealed under his clothing.Police have not yet identified the suspect, as they said they have not been able to notify his next of kin. Giddens said the department is familiar with the suspect.
Giddens praised the officers for their actions during the confrontation.
"I'm disgusted with the sense of violence that we're seeing here," Giddens said. "But I'm very proud of our officers. They responded well, their training kicked in, and they were able to end this confrontation very quickly. We're very proud of them."
Gary, 54, has been with the agency for 22 years, while Mills has been with the department for five years.
Law enforcement personnel are still at the scene investigating, and residents are being advised to avoid the area.