A Florida suspect is facing several charges after he allegedly fired at two St. Petersburg police officers over the weekend, nearly striking one of them in the head, according to authorities.
“If Officer Kuznetsov’s head had been tilted slightly to the left, or he had taken one more step before he stopped, there’s no doubt that he would have been shot in the head.” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a news conference Tuesday.
The shooting occurred Saturday after Officer Ronald McKenzie and Officer Pavel Kuznetsov were attempting to locate the suspect, Austin Kingos, 23, who authorities said had probable cause for his arrest on a misdemeanor charge of violation of an injunction for stalking. The officers arrived at an area of St. Petersburg where they noticed a white van with Kingos inside.
On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office played dashcam and body cameras footage of the incident, which appeared to show the struggle between Officer McKenzie and Kingos.
“Officer McKenzie asked him for identification. Kingos did not immediately produce any ID and he was fidgeting around, and Officer McKenzie was concerned because of the movements and he couldn’t see Kingos’ hands,” Gualtieri said. “He opened the driver’s side of the door, at which time Kingos turned and began to actively kick and resist Officer McKenzie.”