TAMPA - Police shot and killed a 33-year-old man who they said stabbed the mother of his three young children and then opened fire on law enforcement officers during a brief pursuit.
Officers were sent to a home in Tampa on Monday afternoon after receiving reports that a woman had been stabbed.
"He had stabbed her in front of the children, who are between the ages of 2 and 6," said Tampa police Chief Lee Bercaw.
The father then loaded the children into his vehicle and took them to his brother's home, where he stole an AK-47, police said.
Around 5:40 p.m., police officers spotted his vehicle and began following him. When they attempted a traffic stop, the man pointed the rifle out the vehicle's window and continued driving. Officers used spike strips to try to stop the vehicle, but he was able to avoid them.
Just after 6 p.m., the man crashed into a vehicle and began shooting at officers who were pursuing him. Multiple officers returned fire, striking and killing the man. None of the officers or the couple the man had crashed into were injured.
The woman who was stabbed was in critical condition at a hospital. The chief said the children were safe with another family member.
Sabrina Turner, who was a passenger in that vehicle, told the Tampa Bay Times she heard about 50 shots fired between police and the man before she was safely evacuated from the area.
"I was really freaked out. I was crying," she said.
Chief Bercaw said the man, whose name wasn't immediately made public, had "no regard for human life."
"No one should have to witness the chaos that the suspect caused our community," he said.
All officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duty as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates.
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