By Tiffany Walden
ORLANDO — A routine traffic stop took a deadly turn Tuesday when an Orlando officer fatally shot a felon who tried to run him over with a car, police said.
The man, 31-year-old Brian Christopher Leggitt, was pronounced dead on scene at Wentwood and Thorpe avenues near College Park. The officer was not hurt.
The shooting happened around 6 a.m. when the unnamed patrol officer pulled over the driver at Wentwood and Thorpe avenues near Lee Road, Orlando Police said.
Police said Leggitt was fleeing an earlier traffic stop by another officer near Orange Blossom Trail and Colonial Drive. Officers were looking for the car after it sped away from the first scene.
That's when the patrol officer spotted the car and suspect at Wentwood and Thorpe avenues. He pulled over the car, but Leggitt tried to escape again, officials said.
As the officer walked up to the car, the Leggitt backed up the car and tried to run down the officer. He also smashed his car into the officer's patrol car, police reported.
The officer pulled out his gun and shot Leggitt. Police did not immediately release the name of the officer. The officer who shot the driver has been placed on paid administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates.
Leggitt was released from jail on bond Nov. 7 after a domestic-battery arrest a week earlier.
Prior to that, he had served three separate convictions since 2005 in state prison for cocaine possession, trafficking stolen property, burglary, grand theft and aggravated stalking in Orange and Seminole counties.
"We don't know who we're dealing with — what they're capable of," Orlando Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jim Young said. "Our job is dangerous. "Officers on the street face these dangers overnight. Most people are in bed sleeping safely. So, these officers are risking their lives every day."
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2013 The Orlando Sentinel