AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- A Lakeland man is recovering after being shot by Polk deputies Sunday night following a traffic stop and chase.
- Sheriff's Office says driver drove car at deputy
- Incident started with traffic stop
- Shannon Baxley shot 3 times, is being treated
Sheriff Grady Judd said the suspect, 40-year-old Shannon Baxley, had a long criminal record involving drugs and that he may have taken off from the traffic stop to keep from going back to prison.
Deputies were checking drivers for seat belt usage when Baxley was pulled over. But he didn't cooperate, Judd said.
"The guy backs up and takes off," Judd said of Baxley.
The sheriff says Baxley then ran into a deputy with his car. A high-speed chase followed until a deputy forced Baxley's car off the road on Berkely Road. Baxley jumped out of his vehicle, Judd said.
Judd said instead of putting his hands up, Baxley went for his waist. Deputies thought he was going for a gun and opened fire. It turns out he wasn't armed.
"And we are suspecting when he was going for his waist and we were telling him, 'Show us your hands,' and this happened, like that he threw a baggie of marijuana," Judd said.
Baxley was shot three times – once in his arm and twice in his abdomen. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Friend Savanna Plumlee said Baxley had drug problems and probably ran because he didn't want to get caught with drugs.
"Yeah. But he's smarter than that. He should know that hitting an officer and running is way more serious than having some pot," Plumlee said.
Baxley has been charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, fleeing to elude at reckless and high speeds, resisting arrest, tampering with evidence, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a traffic citation for illegal tint.
The deputies involved in the incident are OK.