Date: February 13, 2003 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager

Deceased Suspect in Osceola County Deputy-Involved Shooting Identified

Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives have identified the suspect who was shot and killed in Polk County on Tuesday during a pursuit by Osceola County Sheriff's Office deputies.

The suspect has been identified as Gregory Michael Verzino, DOB 5/14/68, of 4613 Grove Point Drive in Tampa.  He was identified after a thorough search of all the contents of the suspect truck (stolen red Isuzu involved in the pursuit and fatal shooting) revealed  information that subsequently led to the suspect's identity.

Verzino reportedly has an extensive arrest record in Hillsborough County that includes at least 13 arrests for various offenses including drug-related charges. He has no prior criminal history in Polk County.

Verzino was shot and killed on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2003, in the area of County Road 54 near Champion Gates (Northeast Polk County) after jumping from a stolen vehicle during a pursuit from Osceola County and pointing what appeared to be a gun (later discovered to be a Daisy Powerline BB gun) at responding Osceola County deputies. 

A second suspect - who is still being sought - fled from the area. He is described as male with an olive colored dark complexion, in his 30s, approximately 6 feet tall, weighing 190 pounds. This suspect also is believed to have been involved in a carjacking in the same  area on Wednesday morning. The vehicle stolen in that carjacking (a gold 2000 Ford Windstar mini-van with tag K195I) also was used in an Orange County armed robbery of a Dollar General Store this morning around 11:30 a.m. That vehicle was found abandoned a short time later in the area of the 1100 block of South Orange Blossom Trail (please contact Orange County for further details on that incident). Anyone with information about the possible identity and/or whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1800-226-TIPS.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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