In a recent incident on Thursday night, officers from the Tampa Police Department had a fatal encounter with Laquincy Dartez Ward, a 42-year-old man, during a routine traffic stop. According to reports, Ward allegedly opened fire from a gray Kia Soul in the 3700 block of Busch Boulevard around 10:50 p.m.
Following the initial gunfire, officers quickly located the vehicle, with Ward as the passenger, heading south on North 40th Street. At the intersection of 40th Street and East 32nd Avenue, officers attempted a felony traffic stop. At this point, Ward fired multiple rounds at the officers and struck their vehicles. In response, the officers returned fire, hitting Ward. Despite being wounded, Ward re-entered the Kia, and the driver, identified as 37-year-old Jeanette Lockard, fled south on North 40th Street.
Shortly after 11 p.m., Lockard stopped the car and surrendered to the authorities. After a brief interval, officers approached the vehicle and removed Ward. Unfortunately, Ward succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Thankfully, no other injuries were reported in this incident involving Laquincy Dartez Ward.
Lockard was taken into custody and now faces several charges, including being an accessory after the fact to attempted murder, felony fleeing to elude, and tampering with evidence related to a felony.
Investigators revealed that the firearm found in the car matched the description of the weapon used in a prior shooting on Busch Boulevard. Detectives are actively investigating the circumstances leading up to that earlier incident involving Laquincy Dartez Ward.
The Tampa Police Department has not released the names of the involved officers, one of whom was hired in 2021 and the other in 2017. Both officers have been placed on routine paid administrative leave as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducts an investigation into the incident involving Laquincy Dartez Ward.