ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy and a St. Petersburg police K-9 officer are recovering after being shot by a suspect. 

  • St. Pete police K-9, Pinellas County deputy injured in shooting
  • Both expected to recover
  • Suspect Elijah Johnson, 23, found dead
  • Investigation ongoing

According to the agencies, the injuries are not life-threatening and both are expected to recover. 

The suspect was found dead of an apparent suicide. 

The sequence of events began just before 2 a.m. when a deputy with the Joint Violent Crimes Task Force attempted to make a traffic stop in St. Petersburg in the area of 3rd Ave.South and 26th Street.

Police said the driver, Elijah Johnson, 23,  of St. Petersburg, initially stopped, but then drove off from the scene. Shortly afterwords, Johnson abandoned his car at 2nd Ave.South and 26th Street. At that point a St. Petersburg K-9 Officer and his dog to begin tracking the area. 

Johnson shot K-9 Titan, then ran from that scene, authorities said. The dog suffered a wound to his paw.

A short time later, the suspect fired shots at a Sheriff's Office sergeant who was in his vehicle at 3rd Ave.South and 27th St. Sgt David Stang, 51, was shot in the shoulder.



Sheriff's Office Sgt. David Stang, Jr. (Pinellas Co. Sheriff's Office)

Sgt. Stang, with the agency since 2001, was taken to Bayfront Health where he is in stable condition.

Minutes later, Johnson was found dead with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound near 3rd Ave S. and 26th St., Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

"He was recently released from prison," Gualtieri said of Johnson. "He had an extensive drug history and other crimes. It was an original traffic stop that he escalated. He tried to kill a deputy sheriff and it’s just a bad situation all the way around."

No deputy or officer fired a weapon.

K-9 Titan underwent surgery and he is also in stable condition. Police posted photos of Titan recovering. 

The St. Petersburg police and Sheriff's Office Forensic Science Division will investigate jointly.

Authorities said the suspect, 23-year-old Elijah Johnson, was found dead of a self-inflcited gunshot wound. Officials said he had an extensive criminal history. (Pinellas County Jail)