Group Ambushes Tampa Police Responding to Report, Officers Injured: Chief

June 24, 2020 Updated: June 24, 2020

Officials in Tampa, Florida, said two officers were injured over the weekend after a group of hundreds of people surrounded them and ambushed them.

Officers were responding to a report of shots fired near an intersection by the Ybor City neighborhood at 1 a.m., said Chief Brian Duggan.

“It’s an ambush. I have no other way to describe it,” Duggan told reporters. “When there are that many people out there and clearly no one had been shot. It was just a set up to get the cops there.”

When officers tried to search for a possible gunshot victim, hundreds of people surrounded the officers and threw bottles and glass before jumping on a police vehicle. Officers could not locate a victim, officials said.

One officer was hit in the head with an object and suffered minor injuries. That officer was treated and released, while a second officer was hit in the head and is expected to be fine, the chief said.

Tampa police posted aerial footage of a crowd surrounding police vehicles at an intersection. At one point, the crowd is seen running away.

Dugan said that “there were hundreds” of people in the crowd.

He added, “Hundreds. We actually ended up having to call every single police officer that was available that night to respond there, from New Tampa to South Tampa.”

The chief added that more than 100 officers responded to the incident.

“Just by doing your job, whether you’re right or wrong, it doesn’t matter right now,” he said. “No one is listening. Any justified action is getting twisted.”