A Tampa police officer was wounded and two other men were fatally shot Saturday after officers received reports of gunshots fired between two vehicles driving north of Busch Gardens. Tampa police were investigating the shooting that ended in the parking lot of a Hyatt Place hotel.
Tampa police Officer Jose Rodriguez, 53, was shot in the chest, Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said. He was taken by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital and was expected to survive. “His bullet-proof vest likely saved his life,” Davis said.
Patrick Matthew McManamon, 46, was shot and killed when he opened fire on Rodriguez as the veteran officer arrived at the Hyatt Place, according to police.
Rodriguez and another officer returned fire, and McManamon, who was shot an unknown number of times, later died at a hospital.
Officers found the other man, Edward Leroy King, 51, shot in the parking lot when they arrived, police said. Detectives are classifying King’s death as a homicide.
The events that led to the shooting started about 4 p.m. near a Sunoco gas station. Someone called 911 and reported that there were two cars driving erratically in that area. Gunshots were fired from one of the vehicles, Davis said. The caller followed the cars a few blocks north to the parking lot of the Hyatt.
Two men were exchanging gunfire when Rodriguez arrived, Davis said.
“At some point, one of the suspects engaged the officer and he returned fire,” Davis said. “We don’t know how many shots anyone fired or who shot who.”
The officer was hit in his chest area, Davis said. It was unclear how many times he was shot. During the exchange, both of the gunmen were also shot.
Police Chief Eric Ward and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn visited Rodriguez in the hospital Saturday evening, Davis said. The 13-year Tampa police veteran was in stable condition.
Saturday night, detectives were interviewing several witnesses who saw the shooting. It was unclear what led to the altercation between the two men. Police said they do not believe anyone else was involved.