Lakeland Police officer shot, released from hospital - WRBL

Lakeland Police officer shot, released from hospital

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Officer Doug Mills, 36, has been with the Lakeland Police Dept. since 2008. Facebook photo Officer Doug Mills, 36, has been with the Lakeland Police Dept. since 2008. Facebook photo
The shooting scene in Lakeland. The shooting scene in Lakeland.
The shooting scene in Lakeland. The shooting scene in Lakeland.
Officer Doug Mills. Courtesy Lakeland Police Department Officer Doug Mills. Courtesy Lakeland Police Department
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) - A Lakeland Police Officer and a suspect were shot Tuesday morning in Lakeland. Officer Doug Mills, 36, was shot in the upper right arm and was hospitalized, then released Tuesday afternoon.

An LPD spokesperson says Sergeant Jeff Gary and Officer Mills responded to N. Lake Wire Park in reference to a wanted person.  At first, police thought they were looking for a wanted man named Essau Corey.  A caller described Corey as her dangerous father.  The physical description matched up, police say.

When the officers approached the suspect, who has since been identified as 66-year-old Tommie Lanier of 911 Quincy Street, Lakeland, he shot at them and the officers returned fire. 

"They were confronted by an individual who was armed with four handguns. He made a movement for his shirt, he pulled out a gun, there was an exchange of gunfire. He shot. Unfortunately the officer, Doug Mills, was shot," said Sergeant Gary Gross.

Mills was approximately 12 to 15-feet from Lanier when he was shot. Although he was shot, he was able to return fire, as did Sgt. Jeff Gary. Lanier was shot three times.

"The suspect went down and is at the hospital as well as the officer. Our thoughts and prayers are of course with the officer and the family of the victim that was shot," said Sergeant Gary Gross.

At this time, it is still unknown why Lanier shot at the officers.  

“They [the officers] did everything they were trained to do,” Gross said.  “They kept good distance and good officer safety.  This thing happened that quick and they reacted the way they were trained to do.  They shot back. It's a survival mode.  They went home-and that's the good thing.”

Officer Mills was wearing a bullet-proof vest. He was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center after the shooting and released. He has been with the Lakeland Police Department since 2008. Lanier is currently in critical condition. He will be charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

The investigation is ongoing.

Holly Bounds contributed to this story.

Copyright WFLA 2014. All rights reserved.


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