ORLANDO -- A deputy shot a man who had fired a gun toward him during a struggle in an Orange County shopping plaza Sunday night, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputy Eric Lopez had responded to East Gourmet Chinese Food on West Colonial Drive about 9 p.m. The suspect, 35-year-old Philip George Nomikos, had used a large stick to smash the glass front door of the restaurant, investigators said.
When Lopez arrived, the business owners pointed out Nomikos. When the deputy tried to confront Nomikos, a “brief struggle ensued,” during which Nomikos pulled a gun and fired one round, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The bullet “narrowly” missed Lopez, the Sheriff’s Office said.
"It was a near miss by the shot that was fired at him,” Chief Deputy Larry Zwieg told reporters during a press conference.
Lopez then shot Nomikos, who was taken to a hospital in critical condition. He was in stable condition as of Monday afternoon.
Lopez, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2017, was not injured.
He will be assigned to administrative duties while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting, which is standard procedure.
The incident was recorded by the deputy’s body worn camera, but the Sheriff’s Office declined to release it, citing the ongoing FDLE investigation.
According to an incident report, a witness told investigators that Nomikos is transient and lives in the area. The witness said he may have smashed the window as retaliation after having been trespassed from the property, though it was unclear when that happened.
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