Suspect in deputy shooting caught
DONALDSONVILLE - Authorities from central Florida are headed to Ascension Parish where a man wanted for a violent robbery outside Tampa was arrested after a Louisiana sheriff's deputy was shot.
John McMullen, 35, was arrested after an hours-long run from the law following the altercation near downtown Donaldsonville Tuesday. An Ascension Parish Sheriff's deputy spotted a white sedan reported to be involved in a theft of ammunition from the city's Walmart. One of three people in the car fired three shots at the deputy. One of the rounds hit the unidentified deputy in the hand. Another shattered the glass of his cruiser.
"I heard three gunshots," an eyewitness told WBRZ News 2.
"I heard bang, bang, bang," another person said.
Late Tuesday, WBRZ News 2 learned McMullen was wanted for robbery, kidnapping, arson, and attempted first degree murder for a crime at a hotel in Lake Wales, Florida. The sedan involved in the shooting was stolen from the hotel, police in Florida said.
Tampa-area media outlets reported the hotel manager said a man and woman forced their way into his office Saturday, beat him, stole his wallet, jewelery and car keys then tied him with a cord, lit his clothes on fire and left.
Parts of the hotel, called the London Inn Motel, were damaged. The manager suffered smoke inhalation injuries and was taken to a hospital where he remained late Tuesday night. The manager was able to free himself before being severely burned but was not able to put out the fire.
Also Saturday, a motorcycle was stolen from the hotel. It was not clear if the theft was related to the other crimes.
Lake Wales Police said they identified McMullen as a suspect in the hotel situation about the same time the deputy was shot in Louisiana.
Detectives from Lake Wales will spend the night headed to Louisiana, the police department said. The department also identified the two other people apprehended in Louisiana as Jennifer D. McGhee, 27, and Chadwick Schwender, 27. McGhee and Schwender are also from Lake Wales.
McMullen has an extensive criminal history and was released from Florida State Prison in April 2014 after doing time for grand theft and attempted burglary. His record includes resisting arrest, escape, drug possession, possession of drug equipment, grand theft, trespass, fraud, burglary, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon charges.
Lake Wales, a city about the size of Denham Springs, is 60 miles from Tampa.
The deputy shot in Ascension Parish is expected to recover.
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