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Deputy in Fla. fatally shoots Mexican motorist after chase

The Associated Press

WIMAUMA, Florida- A deputy fatally shot a motorist from Mexico who rammed two patrol cars and confronted the deputy with a knife, officials said.

Sergio Lopez-Flores, 31, was flown to Tampa General Hospital on Friday and pronounced dead a short time later, sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway said Saturday.

Authorities said Flores was speeding when a deputy tried to wave him down. But Flores swerved toward the deputy as if to hit him and then sped away, Callaway said.

Flores rammed his truck into one patrol car and then turned his truck around and broadsided another patrol car, Callaway said. The impact flipped the second patrol car onto the median, he said. The deputy of the car was hospitalized with neck and back injuries.

Deputies said Flores climbed out of the truck and approached Deputy Darryl Bowden with a knife. When Flores ignored orders to put it down and kept approaching, Bowden shot him several times, Callaway said.

"He kept advancing on the deputy despite the deputy's repeated orders to stop," he said. "He was almost on top of the deputy when the shooting occurred."

Bowden, 50, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

Authorities do not believe the man was wanted on any arrest warrants and are still searching for a motive for his actions. An autopsy was scheduled

April Lopez, 33, told The Tampa Tribune that her husband was an illegal immigrant from Mexico and often used a pocketknife to clean his fingernails.

"He panicked," she said. "I think he was just trying to get out of the truck, that he was afraid he was going to get deported and was scared for me and his daughter."

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