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Sheriff: Officer shot, gunman killed after high-speed chase

By AP | Nov 23, 2020

NEW SMYRNA BEACH (AP) — A police officer in Florida was shot and the gunman was killed by other officers after an attempted traffic stop led to a high-speed chase, authorities said Sunday.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood identified the suspect during a news conference as 25-year-old Matthew Thomas of Holly Hill. Chitwood said Thomas fired four shots from a handgun during the Saturday confrontation with police at a storage facility.

Offices fired back, killing Thomas. Officials say New Smyrna Beach Officer Ralph Hunnefeld was wounded in the leg but is expected to make a full recovery.

The situation began when Thomas refused to stop when an officer tried to pull him over in the town of Port Orange. Instead, Thomas sped into New Smyrna Beach and crashed near the storage facility when stop sticks were deployed along the road.

Chitwood said Hunnefeld was in good spirits while being treated in a hospital for his leg injury.

The case was turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.