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Four dead, two deputies injured in shootings

6:28 PM, Jun 7, 2008   |    comments
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Carrollwood, Florida - The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office confirms two veteran deputies with the department are currently at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Deputy Art Lence, a 17-year veteran with the department, was shot in the lower torso. He underwent surgery and is now listed in fair condition. Deputy Ray Wilson, a 27-year veteran, is in fair condition after being shot in the arm.

Three other victims are dead. One of those victims includes a 23-year veteran of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Captain Chris Artigas.  The suspected shooter, 54-year old Jorge Orlando Bello Garcia is also dead.

Authorities say they are working two connected crime scenes. Mulitple deputies are on the scene at the intersection of Henderson and Linebaugh. Officials say Garcia was headed south on Henderson when deputies stopped him and were involved in a shoot out with him.

Authorities knew to look for Garcia's older model, red pickup truck because they were responding to a call of shots fired at 11220 Elmfield Court. Inside the home, sheriff's deputies found two people dead from gunshot wounds. One of the victims found dead on the back patio of the home was Garcia's estranged wife, 44-year old Gina Marie Lamantia-Bello.  The other was Captain Artigas.  He was off duty at the time. 

A third victim, 44-year old Regina Ann Coffaro, was taken to the hospital, where she later died.

Deputies spotted the pickup truck about a half a block from the residence, traveling on Henderson. Authorities say they followed Garcia and he was stopped by traffic and the traffic light.  They say Garcia opened his back window and fired one shot at a patrol car.  He then opened his passenger door and fired multiple rounds.  

Three deputies took cover behind the patrol car and exchanged gunfire with the shooter. Authorities say deputies fired 50-60 shots at Garcia.  They say he fired at least 13-15 rounds at officers,

Deputy Lence was shot in the lower torso and critically injured. Deputy Wilson was shot in the arm. Authorities say Garcia wasn't satisfied with simply injuring Deputy Wilson and approached the injured deputy and got into a physical altercation with him.

A third deputy approached the suspect from behind and shot him in the head at point-blank range, killing him.

Authorities say fellow deputies carried their injured colleagues to a nearby fire station just 100 feet north of the scene. Paramedics immediately began emergency medical treatment of the injured deputies on the ramp in front of the station. 

The emergency responders at the station happened to be there for a training exercise.  They were training behind the station when they saw and heard the shoot out.  They say they dropped to the ground behind their engine for their own protection.  They then ran to provide assistance to the injured deputies. 

Angie Atalla, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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