FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting after a reported shoplifting at a food market and gas station Tuesday morning in Fort Pierce.
The suspect was arrested after several shots were fired, though none hit the officer, Deputy Police Chief Kenny Norris said at a news conference. The unnamed officer returned fire in the incident and the suspect suffered injuries that are not life-threatening, Norris said.
Officers responded at 8:57 a.m. for a report of larceny at Cumberland Farms at 975 Seaway Drive.
The shooting occurred near Museum Pointe Park. A large police presence was seen near the St. Lucie County Aquarium, though police said there was no danger to the public.
Officer-involved shooting on Seaway Drive in the area of Museum Pointe Park. A suspect is in custody and there is no danger to the community.— Fort Pierce Police Department (@FortPiercePD) December 26, 2023
An officer saw a person matching the description of the suspect walking west on Seaway Drive.
The officer and man exchanged fire several times. The suspect was wounded and taken to HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital in stable condition.
"We take for granted these officers out here patrolling, putting their lives on the line daily," Norris said. "Something as simple as this could have cost this officer his life. By the grace of God, the officer and the suspect both will recover."
Norris said his agency is handling the criminal manner and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the officer-involved shooting.
The officer, who was identified Jan. 5 as Sgt. Graham Kelley, is on paid leave during the investigation, which is standard procedure after a police-involved shooting.