LAKELAND, Fla. (970 WFLA) – Lakeland Police released more information Wednesday about gunfire between an officer and a suspect that left both injured.
Police say the suspect in the shooting is identified as 66-year-old Tommie A. Lanier of Lakeland. Police say he matched the description of a person as being wanted on a misdemeanor warrant and was he walking in the same area. When the officers tried to stop him, police say he backed up and took out a gun from under his shirt and fired two shots at Officer Mills who was standing 12 to 15 feet away.
Police say Mills was struck by at least one bullet in the right arm and was able to return fire utilizing his duty weapon, as did Sergeant Gary. Police say Officer Mills has been treated and released from the Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
Police say Lanier was shot three times and is listed in critical condition at LRMC.
At the time of all this, police say Lanier had four handguns on him and additional 67 rounds in pouches on his belt and in his pockets. After further investigating, police learned Lanier had a Carrying Concealed Permit that was issued on 10/16/07 and expired on 10/2/12.
A search warrant was executed on his residence which yielded 2 additional firearms, 8 holsters and 356 rounds of ammunition (22 caliber, 38 caliber, 357 caliber and 45 caliber), according to police.
Police don’t know why Lanier shot at the police officers but a warrant is being issued charging him with Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer.
Detectives and the State Attorney’s Officer are currently investigating the shooting. Per department policy, Officer Mills and Sgt. Gary will be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.