Saturday, June 15, 2024

Pinellas County Deputy injured in shooting in Unincorporated St. Petersburg, suspect deceased

A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was involved in a shooting at 6371 60th Avenue North in Unincorporated St. Petersburg.

The shooting incident occurred at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Deputies were dispatched to the area at approximately 6:52 p.m., investigating reports of an attempted vehicle burglary. A neighbor reportedly confronted the suspect and began to follow him.

Radio traffic of shooting incident

K9 Corporal Matthew Aitken and his K9 “Taco” began to track the suspect. Sergeant Jacob Viano went with Corporal Aitken to assist. They tracked him to the backyard of 6385 60th Avenue North.

Corporal Aitken saw the suspect attempting to conceal himself around an exterior corner of the house. Corporal Aitken verbally challenged the suspect, and the suspect immediately fired several rounds at Corporal Aitken, hitting him three times. Aitken is in stable condition as of Monday morning and continues to improve.

Corporal Matt Aitken and K-9 Taco file photo

Sergeant Viano saw the suspect shoot Corporal Aitken, and then the suspect turned and immediately fired multiple rounds at Sergeant Viano, who was able to duck out of the way. Sergeant Viano regained his footing and fired back. The suspect fired a total of six shots.

Corporal Aitken was transported to Bayfront Health, and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Sergeant Viano and K9 Taco were not injured.

The suspect’s identity is confirmed as 23-year-old Zion Bostick. Bostick had an extensive criminal history.

2022 booking photo of Zion Bostick
The firearm was recovered at the scene. Photo released by the Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office

After further forensic processing, besides the gun he fired, Bostick also had a second handgun in his right pocket. It was reported stolen out of Manatee County.

In 2020, the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Taskforce was created to ensure the investigations conducted into law enforcement use of deadly force are thorough, complete, and objective. The purpose of this task force is to make sure that officer-involved shootings in Pinellas County are investigated by an independent agency and not by the agency involved in the use of deadly force.

Updates will be posted here as more information is made available.

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