Florida Police Hunt Cop Shooter

032202, story, generic shooting police line violence crime scene , JM
Police were searching for a suspect who shot two sheriff's deputies Thursday, authorities said.

The situation started when Polk deputies reportedly stopped a vehicle near Lakeland, CBS affiliate WTSP-TV in Tampa, Fla. reports. Shots were fired, and both deputies were hit along with a police dog.

The Polk County deputies were taken to a hospital after the noontime shooting in north Lakeland, Sheriff Grady Judd said.

He wouldn't release their names or discuss their conditions because relatives had not been notified. A hospital spokeswoman referred questions about the deputies to the sheriff's office.

The shooting occurred near Kathleen High School, which was locked down, Wood said. A woman who would identify herself only as Mrs. Platt said students were locked in their classrooms and were safe. She referred other questions to the sheriff's office. A second school in the area was also locked down.

Television video footage showed armed police with shields searching a wooded area with traffic backed up on nearby Interstate 4. A law enforcement helicopter flew over the area, and armed officers were seen surrounding a ramshackle building.

According to WTSP-TV reports, the suspect is a black male with dreadlocks, wearing all black, and he may be on foot in the area.