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Tampa Officer Saved by Body Armor in Saturday Shooting

March 28, 2016  | 

A Tampa police officer was shot Saturday afternoon during an altercation between two suspects, officials say.

The suspects were also shot, and both died, according to Tampa police.

Police have identified the officer who was wounded as Jose Rodriguez, 53. Rodriguez is a 13-year veteran of the Tampa Police Department. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital where is recovering.

Police say the incident started at 4 p.m. at a Sunoco gas station on 30th Street. Witnesses say two suspects started arguing and shooting at each other.

A witness called 911.

The altercation continued at a nearby hotel. "These two suspects were driving in two separate vehicles," Tampa police spokesperson Andrea Davis told BayNews9. "I don't know at this point when they started shooting at each other. Shots were exchanged. When the officer arrived, there was already gunfire exchanging."

Davis said the gunfire continued even after Ofc. Rodriguez showed up.

Ofc. Rodriguez was shot in the chest as he fired back. The bullet hit him in his body armor, which likely saved his life, officials said.


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