Officers who underestimate a suspect's resolve to evade capture or overestimate their own limitations or those of the patrol car only enhance the dangers of vehicle pursuits. It's not just the lead unit in a pursuit that is imperiled. Upon hearing of a pursuit in progress, other officers may attempt to catch up and join the chase.
Kentin Dion Brooks' life had spun out of control long before his car did. Pinellas County Sheriff's Sgt. Raymond Fleming's only misgiving about the tactics of the incident was the relative proximity of Brooks' vehicle to the deputies' cars at the terminus of the pursuit. But even this is understandable given the speeds and the officers' needs to react to its sudden conclusion.
Pinellas County (Fla.) Sheriff's Sgt. Raymond Fleming was among the deputies who pursued Kentin Dion Brooks during his campaign of vehicular terror. Dep. Jeffrey Newman performed the PIT maneuver on the black Mustang, and then Brooks opened up on the officers with a 9mm handgun from behind tinted windows. Deputies fired 39 rounds, ending the shoreline gunfight northwest of St. Petersburg. Read the full story in our "Shot Fired: Pinellas County, Florida 10/28/2009." Photos are courtesy of PCSO.