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Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Deputy shoots man suspected of dealing guns in Largo

A Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy shot a man suspected of setting up an illegal gun deal Friday night in Largo.

A deputy shot Anthony Antonio Newkirk, 32, 2343 36th St. S., St. Petersburg, in the parking lot of the Suburban Lodge Motel, 6500 Ulmerton Road, at around 8:30 p.m., after Newkirk refused to exit his vehicle and appeared to be reaching for a weapon, deputies said.

Earlier in the evening, the sheriff’s office received information that someone was headed to the motel to sell firearms. Deputies set up surveillance and watched the man back his vehicle into a space near the rear of the motel’s parking lot, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputy Bill Hartigan, a member of the Sheriff’s Community Policing Unit, approached the driver and ordered him out of the car several times before the man started driving forward and reached in his waistband as if to retrieve a weapon, causing Hartigan to fire, the sheriff’s office said.

Newkirk was transported to a local hospital where he is in stable condition after being treated for multiple gunshot wounds.

Hartigan was not injured. As is standard in deputy-involved shootings, Hartigan was placed on paid administrative leave as the incident is investigated.

Investigators later discovered Newkirk was in possession of multiple firearms, the sheriff’s office said.

He is facing charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of cocaine and felony driving while license is suspended or revoked.

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