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Police identify 23-year-old killed after Pinellas County chase-turned-shootout

The deputy shot Sunday is still recovering in the hospital after surgery, the St. Petersburg Police Department explains.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A deputy with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is still recovering in the hospital after getting shot three times Sunday evening in Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway explained.

A sergeant and the deputy, who is also a corporal K-9 handler, chased a man, identified as 23-year-old Zion Bostick, who was accused by a witness of trying to break into several cars.

Bostick reportedly ran behind a local church and continued through a wooded area to a neighborhood. This was when K-9 Corporal Matthew Aitken and K-9 Taco began to track the man.

"When deputies made contact with the suspect, he then took off running southbound from that area," Holloway said during a previous news conference. "The K-9 handler along with the sergeant on the scene followed the suspect."

When authorities caught up to him, they saw him trying to hide around the corner of a house, according to the police department. After trying to talk to the 23-year-old, police say Bostick shot at law enforcement and hit Aitken.

The deputy was shot in the neck, hand and leg, according to the police chief.

Sgt. Jacob Viano, who police say was also shot at three times, was able to duck out of the way of bullets and fire back.

After the shooting stopped, Aitken was transported to Bayfront Health, and Bostick was pronounced dead at the scene. The 23-year-old is said to have an "extensive criminal history."

Police say Bostick also had a second gun in his right pocket, which was found after the shooting. It was reported stolen out of Manatee County.

The 40-year-old deputy is said to be OK after having surgery Monday morning and is continuing to improve in recovery. K-9 Taco was not injured.

"It's because of...[Viano], who he is and what he did, that the outcome here wasn't different," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "If Viano hadn't run with [Aitken], he wouldn't be here today because Viano was able to kill this guy before he fired additional rounds into [the deputy] when he was laying on the ground."

The St. Pete Police Department will investigate the shooting, Holloway said. After their investigation concludes, the Florida State Attorney's Office will look at the investigation and then the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office will determine if any policies or procedures were violated by the sergeant or deputy.

Viano was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting.

10 Tampa Bay's Leo Santos contributed to this report.

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