LARGO – A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy shot an St. Petersburg man suspected of illegally dealing in firearms about 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.
According to the sheriff’s report, Deputy Bill Hartigan, a member of the Sheriff’s Community Policing Unit, received information earlier in the evening that a suspect was headed to the Suburban Lodge Motel, 6500 Ulmerton Road, to conduct a sale of firearms. Along with other law enforcement personnel, Hartigan set up surveillance around the motel.
When the suspect arrived, he backed his vehicle into a space near the rear of the motel’s parking lot. Hartigan approached the driver and ordered him out of the car several times. The suspect refused Hartigan’s instructions and eventually began driving his vehicle forward.
As he drove forward, the suspect reached in his waistband as if to retrieve a weapon. Fearing for his safety and the safety of other law enforcement present, Hartigan shot the suspect several times.
Upon further investigation, deputies discovered the suspect, identified as Anthony Antonio Newkirk, 32, was in possession of multiple firearms.
Newkirk was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for the gunshots wounds. Newkirk was reportedly in stable condition Saturday afternoon. He was charged with felon in possession of a firearm, possession of cocaine and felony habitual traffic offender.
As a routine measure, Hartigan, an employee with the Sheriff’s Office since April 2007, will be placed on paid administrative leave. Detectives with the Sheriff’s Robbery Homicide Unit are investigating.