PALATKA, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Law Enforcement are asking for the public's help in finding the second man involved that ran from a traffic stop Sunday morning that ended in an exchange of gunfire that left a trooper in the hospital and a 24-year-old man dead.
The shooting occurred in downtown Palatka. The FHP says Samourian Wingo and a second man got out of a car that was pulled over and ran. After a short chase, Wingo turned and shot Trooper Lawrence Andrew Litzell in the face. Litzell returned fire, killing Wingo, but the second man got away and remains at large.
Litzell remains in stable condition at UF Health in Gainesville, but colleagues say he is getting better.
Prior to the shooting, he was promoted to sergeant and was scheduled to assume those duties in January.
"Trooper Litzell is by far a model of what a great Florida Highway Patrol trooper should be," said Sgt. Dylan Bryan, spokesman for the department.
This was the second Florida trooper shot in the past six years. In 2007, when Sgt. Nicholas Sotille was shot and killed after a traffic stop. Two men were arrested and one was sentenced to Florida's death row.
"We've had an enormous amount of support, not only from Sotille's family and their incident -- but also with the Litzell incident that just occurred," said Bryan. We're appreciative and thankful for the amounts of support, not only from the community, but from our agency, and other agencies as well."
Anyone with any information on who this second man is or where he may be is asked to call FDLE's Jacksonville office at 904-360-7100.