A morning traffic stop leads to gunshots, an injured trooper and a huge manhunt in northwestern Leon County. Whenever the life of a law enforcement officer is threatened all the stops are pulled out.
Officers from more than five different agencies descended on Tower Road in northwestern Leon County. Their goal was to apprehend a man who tried to run over a trooper.
On Tuesday morning a car chase with Highway Patrol cornered a man in a cul-de-sac off of Old Bainbridge Road. As troopers approached the car on foot, the desperate suspect stomped on the gas. The troopers dove out of the way, but trooper Bill Dyer was still hit by the fleeing suspect.
"Both of the troopers dove out of the way. One of the troopers began to fire his service weapon at that point to defend both of their lives, diving in the ditch as he was firing," says LT John Bagnardi, FHP spokesperson.
The man managed to get away even after bullets hit the Buick Lasabre he was driving. A short time later the Buick was found abandoned off of Tower Road. A massive manhunt eventually led law enforcement to a house a short distance away where Theron Lorenzo Sapp was apprehended.
Sam Bruce of the Violent Crimes Task Force says, "Once we made entry and called out his name and identified who we were he exited the room hands straight out and gave up."
Sapp gave voluntary statements and even asked about the welfare of the trooper that he hit. He was later booked into Leon County Jail facing multiple charges including attempted murder.
The trooper who was struck by the suspect, William Dyer, suffered only minor injuries. Sapp had no license, he had felony traffic convictions and the Buick he was driving was stolen.