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Sheriff: Deputy shoots man after traffic stop confrontation

December 21, 2020 GMT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy shot a man during a confrontation following a traffic stop near Orlando on Sunday night, officials said.

The man suffered injuries that aren’t thought to be life-threatening, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said in a news conference.

A deputy stopped the man, who was driving a motorcycle with license plate that was “curled up in a way that makes it difficult for law enforcement to see,” Mina said.

The driver stopped at a gas station and ran toward a nearby apartment complex, the sheriff said.

The deputy told investigators that during a confrontation in a breezeway, he was in fear for his life because he thought the man was reaching for a weapon, Mina said.

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The deputy fired one round, which hit the man in the leg, Mina said. The deputy wasn’t injured.

The man, whose name hasn’t been released, was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The sheriff said the area where the shooting happened is “extremely dark,” and added that investigators are searching for a weapon. The deputy’s body camera footage is also being reviewed.

“We’re still trying to confirm, at this point, exactly what led to the shooting,” Mina said.

While the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the incident, the deputy will be on paid leave.