LAKELAND, FL (November 28, 2021) – The Lakeland Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred early Sunday morning shortly at 2:15 a.m. on Interstate 4, near exit 31 at Kathleen Road. On Sunday, November 28, 2021, at approximately 2:05 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) received a call requesting officers to respond to a suspicious vehicle parked in a construction zone on Interstate 4. Two uniform patrol officers responded to the location within minutes to investigate.
As officers arrived on the scene, they observed a man sitting in the vehicle. Officers approached the vehicle and tapped on the window to speak to the driver. At some point, the man retrieved a handgun and pointed it toward one of the officers. In fear for their safety, officers returned fire, shooting the driver. The man, age 61 and sole occupant in the vehicle, was pronounced deceased at the scene, and the gun he possessed was recovered. No officers were injured in the shooting.
Standard protocol for all officer-involved shootings will include four independent investigations. The LPD Violent Crimes unit is conducting the death investigation. LPD's Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative review. The State Attorney's Office responded to the scene and will conduct an investigation, and the 10th District Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an investigation. Per agency protocol, the officers involved will be on administrative leave with pay during the initial phase of the investigation.
The officers who responded to the scene are Tammy Hathcock, a 15-year veteran officer with LPD, and Garrett Zeigler, a 9-year law enforcement veteran who has served with LPD for the past five months.