WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. --
Police arrested and charged a 22-year-old man Friday in the attempted shooting of two Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office detectives Thursday night.
Michael Patterson, of West Palm Beach, was charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer with a firearm.
Patterson was spotted in a Mitsubishi Gallant leaving an apartment in Tiffany Lakes on Friday night, police said. Patterson and several others in the car fled on foot after police attempted to stop the vehicle on 45th Street, according to a police news release.
All of the vehicle's occupants were captured without incident, police said. Charles Norris was arrested on unrelated warrants, Dominic Rodriguez was arrested on unrelated charges, and Ricky Boothe, the driver of the vehicle, was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement officers, police said.
The search that led to Patterson's arrest was kicked off after two men ambushed two deputies just before 9 p.m. Thursday, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.
Barbera said the detectives were sitting in an unmarked vehicle at the Stop-N-Go at the intersection of Belvedere and Drexel roads when they noticed a 1999 tan Lincoln Continental parked next to them with two men inside.
They left the Stop-N-Go a short time later, but they noticed the Lincoln following them, Barbera said.
That's when the passenger in the Lincoln pulled out a gun -- believed to be a rifle -- and opened fire on the detectives, Barbera said.
One bullet went through the front windshield and out the passenger window. The detectives did not return fire and were not hurt.
"The deputy that was in that particular location, if he hadn't been down under the dashboard, he would have been struck neck-high, without a doubt," Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
Bradshaw said the gunmen who ambushed his detectives knew who their targets were, pointing to a bullet-proof vest with the word "sheriff" written on it that he said the detectives were wearing.
"We are not going to allow you to terrorize the communities that you are operating in, and if this is the push back that you want to push, then we're just going to push that much harder," Bradshaw said.
"I'm going to tell you right now, we will get them," Bradshaw said. "All the resources of this agency are going to go after not only these two individuals, but we are going to keep on after the gangs, period."
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