A St. Petersburg man shot and killed a would-be robber a couple of hours before leading police on a high-speed chase early Sunday morning.
Thus far, police have not arrested Aaron McKenzie, 32, of 3418 Second Ave. S., in the death of Carlos Green, a 40-year-old ex-convict who was living with relatives in St. Petersburg.
McKenzie told police Green had tried to rob him at gunpoint Sunday evening, but he was able to pull his own weapon and shoot Green in the head, St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said today.
At the time of the attempted robbery, McKenzie and several friends were selling drugs near Fairfield Avenue and 29th Street South, Puetz said. Because they had been selling drugs, they decided not to call police, instead opting to load Green’s body into a green Dodge pickup and dump it away from where the shooting happened, Puetz said.
St. Petersburg police Officer Cody Lance spotted the pickup, not knowing there was a body in the bed, and tried stopping the truck after seeing a woman sitting up in the back. The truck bolted, but Lance had no cause to pursue it, according to police.
The truck stopped in an alley behind a home at 1610 27th St. S., where Green’s body was dumped, Puetz said.
McKenzie dropped off his friends and then crossed paths with another St. Petersburg police officer.
About midnight, McKenzie drove the pickup, with its lights off, at Officer Ryan Larson’s squad car in the 1100 block of 25th Street South, according to police.
Larson had to drive up on a curb to get out of the truck’s path, then received permission to chase after it. About 90 seconds into the chase, McKenzie bailed out of the truck and ran, police have said. He tried hiding in some bushes, then started running.
Larson shot him with his Taser and scuffled with McKenzie while handcuffing him, breaking his hand in the process.
McKenzie was arrested on charges of fleeing and eluding in a high-speed chase, reckless driving, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.
Within hours, police received a report of a body in the alley. It was later identified as Green.
Green had been released from prison on July 1 after serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter. After getting out of prison, he went to stay with relatives at 1245 11th Ave S.
Detectives pieced together what happened and talked to McKenzie right before he bailed out of jail Monday night. That’s when he told them what happened with Green. He also took investigators to where he had hidden his .40-caliber handgun and Green’s 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, and he agreed to give them the names of the other victims in the attempted robbery.
Police are continuing to investigate Green’s death but, at this point, are treating it as a justifiable homicide.