Florida Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Andrew Litzell, an 11-year veteran, was shot in the face following what had started as a routine traffic stop in Palatka after midnight today. Litzell was able to return fire, FHP reports, and killed one of two assailants, Somourian Jamal Wingo, who had turned 24 today. The second suspect is at large.
The incident took place in downtown Palatka shortly after 12:30 a.m., near 2nd Street and Laurel Street in a local park.
According to FHP, Litzell was attempting to stop a suspected traffic violator driving a Mercury Grand Marquis when a brief foot pursuit occurred. Litzell was shot in the face by one of the two suspects during the foot chase, and he returned fire.
Wingo had been arrested three times in St. Johns County over the past few years on drug and traffic charges. He also served a two-year sentence in state prison (2010-11) for the manufacture and distribution of cocaine. He was a resident of St. Augustine.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. Litzell was airlifted to UF Health of Gainesville. His condition is stable. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been on scene handling the officer involved shooting investigation. The firearm recovered at the scene was described as a .25 caliber semiautomatic handgun.
As part of Florida Highway Patrol policy, Litzell will be placed on administrative leave with
pay during the investigation.
If anyone has information in regards to the active case or the identity and whereabouts of the second suspect, please call First Coast CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous and may qualify for a monetary reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.
Cactus Pete says
You can blame the “liberal” judges who let this animal back out 3 times. 300 youths “flash mob” mall in New York and beat security guards, steal everything they can grab in all the stores……Time is getting short America !!!!
Nancy N. says
“liberal” judges – in St John’s County? That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. He was in Wendy Berger’s court multiple times according to court records in St John’s. I guarantee he got the max she could give him. She did such a good job putting people away that the governor awarded her with a slot on the Appeals Court.
Every Lawman knows that his primary responsibility is to go home at the end of tour unharmed to his/her loved ones. Unfortunately Trooper Litzell suffered injuries in the performance of his duty. I pray that he has a full recovery. Everyone’s life is valuable so I also feel for the perpetrator and his family with their loss. I am particularly troubled however with the insensitivity that persist among many of us. The frequent use and classifications placed on persons in this manner is inhumane and without conscience. As for the social and political issues that create the climate for overt violence. Change has to come to create the utopia we all hope for. I feel for the ignorant who would rather lash out regardless of the true dogmas that exploit us all. I’m not religious but this seem to fit based on your summation. Matthew 13:13-14 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. St. Michael was very busy last night thank God!
Sickens me says
My heart goes out to the FHP officer and his family. To have to do what he did is highly commendable and did what he had to do…So very thinkful it wasn’t the other way around..
good, I hope the officer is going to be ok
Florida Native. says
FHP 1,dirtbag 0.
So glad the FHP officer will be alright. I am married to a police officer, when he walks out the door to go to work, I never know if he will be coming home alive. I wish the FHP officer had been able to kill the 2nd scumbag also.
Karma-what goes around……comes around. Thug Life is No Life. Recover well Trooper you did what you had to do.
GOD bless ya Trooper and speedy recovery.
Judges WAKE UP CALL the scumbags will not change!
Hope our FHP brave officer gets well soon and the other tug is caught too, To all our law enforcement officers please, be very careful out there and safeguard your lives.
Linda Thomas says
So thankful it was only a .25 caliber – a .38 and the ending would have been different.
Maybe we need a three strikes law. I consider myself a social liberal, but I still want punishment and society protected. Please don’t confuse the matter. But do contact your state legislators to beef up the punishments and provide all the funding possible to law enforcement.
The Geode says
That is one job I am glad that better men than me are qualified for -and doing. I also want to thank ALL you posters for NOT making this about race or finding a way to toss in the “obligatory Obama rant”. Happy New Year!