Tampa Officer Shot Repeatedly By Gunman
Tampa, FL – Two Tampa Police Department (TPD) officers were hospitalized early Monday morning, after a man opened fire on them as they attempted to serve a warrant.
Officer Richard Lehr, a 10-year veteran of the department, was shot “multiple times,” TPD Chief Brian Dugan said during a press conference.
Officer Leigh Smith, a three-year veteran of the TPD, was injured, but he was not hit by gunfire, WTVT reported.
Both officers were hospitalized, and are expected to recover, Chief Dugan said.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:40 a.m., as police attempted to serve an arrest warrant at the home of 35-year-old Walter Jeziorski, who was accused of making threats against his family, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Jeziorski was alone at the residence when police arrived, Chief Dugan said.
He opened fire on the officers when they knocked on his door, hitting Officer Lehr. The officers took cover and returned fire, but Jeziorski was not hit, the chief said.
A standoff ensued, until Jeziorski’s mother intervened and spoke with him over the phone, Chief Dugan said.
She was able to convince him to put down his weapons, and to walk outside, where he was taken into custody without further incident.
“It could have been much worse,” Chief Dugan said.
Officer Lehr was alert and talking before he was taken to the hospital, he added.
He was released later Monday morning, the TPD said in a tweet.
"Officer Lehr has been released from the hospital and is on his way home. He sends his thanks to the community for their thoughts, prayers, and concern for his recovery," the department said.
Officer Smith was treated for a sprained ankle, and was released from the hospital, WTVT reported.
Jeziorski, who reportedly has a history of mental health issues, has an extensive criminal history, and has had at least 94 contacts with police, WFTS reported.
“This is just another example of what our officers deal with every single day out there,” Chief Dugan said.
Jeziorski faces two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, WTVT reported.