LAKELAND, FL (June 20, 2022) - On Sunday, June 19, 2022, at approximately 10:29 a.m., patrol officers responded to the shopping center in the 4100 block of Highway 98 in response to a hit-and-run crash that took place in the parking lot near the AT&T store.
Upon arrival, the officers were directed to a white Dodge pickup truck traveling through the parking lot area near the Moe's restaurant and Men's Wearhouse. The officers conducted a traffic stop relating to the hit-and-run and made contact with a female driver and passenger, 33-year-old Christopher Joy. The driver advised that Joy was involved in the previous hit-and-run crash.
After officers requested Joy to exit the vehicle, he became resistant, pulling away from the officers attempting to take him into custody. During officers' attempt to arrest Joy, one officer deployed their Taser®; however, it was ineffective. Joy continued to flee, running across the parking area toward Moe's Restaurant. After he fled a short distance, he turned back toward the officers, pulled a small improvised firearm capable of chambering a single rifle round, and shot himself in the head. Joy was immediately confirmed deceased from the self-inflicted injury.
According to witnesses, Joy was upset over personal issues and was impaired from a controlled substance taken before the incident.
During the incident, no firearms were discharged by officers. This remains an open and active investigation.