Shooting Update

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
- Robbery & Homicide Unit

PINELLAS COUNTY – On April 6, 2023, Sheriff Gualtieri held a press conference to discuss updates on the deputy-involved shooting from March 12, 2023 and released the body cam footage of the incident. Corporal Aitken and Sergeant Viano were also present for the press conference and answered questions for the media.

On March 12, 2023, Corporal Aitken and K9 Taco were tracking a vehicle burglary suspect in the area of 6385 60th Avenue North in St. Petersburg, accompanied by Sergeant Viano. After jumping a fence and tracking into the back yard of a residence, the suspect ambushed Corporal Aitken and shot him 3 times. He then fired at Sergeant Viano multiple times. K9 Taco immediately apprehended the suspect, allowing Sergeant Viano to return fire. The suspect was struck multiple times by Sergeant Viano and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Corporal Aitken continues to recover from his injuries.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri stated, “This is where things lined up for the good guys, in some good and unexplainable way. . . a significant factor and hero in saving Corporal Aitkens’ life and allowing Sergeant Viano to avoid being shot is K9 Taco. K9 handlers train a lot with their dogs for the gunshot scenario but one never really knows how the K9 is going to react in a real situation. Here, K9 Taco reacted exactly how he was trained and upon Corporal Aitken being shot, K9 Taco immediately engaged Bostick.”

To view the entire press conference, visit:

Posted by Amanda Sinni Thursday, April 6, 2023 11:33:00 AM Categories: General News

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