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Officer shoot, kill man who drove stolen car at them, police say

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(WFTS-TV image)

LAKELAND, Fla. – Officers fatally shot a man early Wednesday morning after they say he drove at them in a crowded parking lot.

Lakeland police Chief Larry Giddens told news outlets the shooting at 2:21 a.m. followed reports of a stolen car on East Memorial Boulevard. He said officers spotted the stolen vehicle in a parking lot when they responded to reports of people had gathered in a restaurant parking lot, making it a “large, chaotic scene.”

Giddens said the driver saw officers approaching and “aggressively began to speed through the parking lot, driving at one of our officers.”

A few officers fired at the driver. The vehicle hit parked cars and hit a light pole before crashing into another parked car, pushing it through the wall of a bicycle shop. The man was taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital, where he died

The driver’s name wasn’t immediately released. The officers weren’t injured, and are on administrative leave.

WFTS-TV reported the black Camaro was stolen out of Winter Haven in Polk County.