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A man who was shot in the leg after fighting off would-be robbers in a Florida mall parking lot Monday afternoon managed to grab his own gun from his vehicle and apparently shot one suspect in the stomach.
What are the details?
The Hillsborough County sheriff’s office said deputies responded to Westfield Brandon Mall around 2:15 p.m. after getting several calls about shots fired.
Upon arrival, deputies found a man outside the east side of Dillard’s with a gunshot wound to one of his legs; he was taken to Tampa General Hospital in stable condition.
Preliminary information indicates the shooting victim parked his vehicle outside Dillard’s and entered the mall to visit a jewelry store.
After leaving the mall, the victim made his way to his car, and two suspects approached him. One suspect pointed a gun at the victim, while the second suspect tried to take a gold chain valued at tens of thousands of dollars from the victim.
A fight ensued, and the victim was able to hold on to his chain — but as the suspects took off running, one shot at the victim, striking him in the leg.
The victim was able to get a gun from his vehicle, and he shot at the fleeing suspects.
What happened next?
Later in the afternoon, a male was dropped off at Advent Health at 3100 E. Fletcher Ave. in Tampa with a gunshot wound to the stomach. The male is believed to be one of the suspects in the mall shooting, the sheriff’s office said.
The Advent Health facility is just over 20 minutes northwest of the mall.
The victim in the would-be robbery was taken to Tampa General Hospital in stable condition, the sheriff’s office said.
Sheriff Chad Chronister afterward remarked that “the violence seen this afternoon in such a public place is deplorable. We believe this to be a targeted attack with the intent of robbing the victim and are grateful no one else was hurt in the area.”
The mall was never placed on lockdown, the sheriff’s office said, and it was not an active shooter situation. Detectives are working to determine whether the victim and the suspects know each other, the sheriff’s office added.
Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the second suspect can call the sheriff’s office at 813-247-8200.
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