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A deputy in Florida who was shot three times by a suspect who ambushed officers last week was released from the hospital on Friday.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Matthew Aitken, 40, was shot in the neck, hand, and leg while responding to a vehicle burglary report last Sunday.
“He’s a tough guy,” Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Friday afternoon. “But he needs to take it easy. He’s got a bullet in his neck, his leg is OK, he’s got problems with his wrist, but I have no doubt that he’ll come back.”
On Sunday, March 12, at 6:52 p.m., Pinellas Sheriff’s deputies responded to a vehicle burglary in the 6300 block of 60th Avenue North, unincorporated Pinellas Park.
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A K-9 handler Corporal Matthew Aitken, 40, and his K-9, Taco, spotted the suspect, Zion Bostick, 23, near a church at 6300 62 Avenue North. The handler, his dog, and a sergeant backing them up tracked the suspect south into a fenced backyard.
The suspect was waiting for them and fired several shots, striking the K9 handler. The Sgt. fired back and struck the suspect. The suspect died at the scene.
“The suspect was waiting for them, and as the K-9 and the handler cleared the building, that’s when the suspect shot at the deputy,” said St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway.
Police said the deputies followed the suspect and spotted him trying to hide behind a corner of a house.
Officials said Bostick opened fire, striking Aitken three times before shooting at Viano. Viano dodged the bullets and returned fire, killing the suspect.
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Bostick had a second gun in his right pocket, according to police, which had been reported stolen out of Manatee County.
Bostick had an “extensive criminal history,” the St. Petersburg Police Department said.
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