Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 14-197

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • May 29, 2014
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piooffice@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Armed Robbery And Attempted Murder Of A Law Enforcement Officer

    Man and woman face numerous charges.
    • Wednesday
    • May 28, 2014
    • Time: 6:00 PM
    • Radio Shack
    • 3842 Sun City Boulevard
    • Ruskin


    (Booking Photo from 6/16/2011 Arrest)
    Jovanny Pena
    DOB: 06/28/1983
    3016 Cedar Ridge Drive
    Tampa, Florida


    • Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer
    • Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
    • Armed Robbery of a Business
    • Armed Robbery of a Person X3
    • Armed Kidnapping
    • False Imprisonment X3


    Bryna L. McLaughlin
    DOB: 02/26/1984
    4509 Walnut Ridge Road
    Land-O-Lakes, Florida


    • Armed Robbery of a Business
    • Armed Robbery of a Person X3
    • Armed Kidnapping
    • False Imprisonment X3

    Deputies involved in the shooting are as follows; 

    Deputy Domingo Gonzalez, Age 37
    Employed with HCSO for 8 years
    Assigned to Patrol District 2

    Deputy Michael Leisch, Age 28
    Employed with HCSO 4 years
    Assigned to Patrol District 4


    On May 28, 2014, just before 6 p.m., Jovanny Pena walked into the Radio Shack at 3842 Sun City Blvd wearing a stocking mask over his head while Bryna McLaughlin wearing a stocking mask over her head waited in the driver's seat of a gold colored 2014 Jeep Liberty parked outside the Radio Shack

    As Pena entered the store, he walked up behind a customer and put a gun in her back. Pena then grabbed the customer around the head and confronted a female store clerk behind the counter at gun point.

    Pena then walked both victims to the back office and confronted the store manager and district manager who were in the office working. Pena ordered all four victims to lie face down on the ground and not to look up. He made them empty their pockets, taking their cell phones and other personal belongings.

    Pena then loaded approximately 90 cell phones into a plastic bag along with an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the store.  Pena was seen throwing the bag of phones into the Jeep and got in behind the driver's wheel as Bryna McLaughlin slid over to the passenger seat. Both Pena and McLaughlin were last seen driving away from the store.

    A 9-1-1 call was made and a description of the Jeep Liberty was transmitted to responding deputies. Several minutes later, HCSO patrol deputies spotted the Jeep Liberty in the Sun City area and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Pena refused to pull over and a pursuit ensued. HCSO marked units with activated lights and sirens pursued Pena northbound on I-75 to underneath the Progress Boulevard interstate overpass, exit 254 (US 301) in Tampa where the pursuit came to an end.

    At this location, Pena made a hard left turn and appeared to lose control in the grassy area of the median. Three deputies positioned their marked patrol vehicles blocking Pena from driving away. All three deputies exited their vehicles with Deputy Buddy Leisch and Deputy Domingo Gonzalez covering Pena and McLaughlin at gunpoint who was still sitting in the Jeep.

    Pena then put the Jeep in drive and turned towards Deputy Richard Johnson's patrol vehicle and rammed the Jeep into the patrol car causing the patrol vehicle to strike Deputy Johnson and knocking him to the ground. Deputy Johnson suffered a possible broken shoulder.

    Deputy Buddy Leisch witnessed Pena's Jeep ramming Deputy Johnson's patrol vehicle and feared that Pena was trying to run Deputy Johnson over with the Jeep. Deputy Leisch fired his 40 caliber Glock towards Pena.

    Pena continued driving forward and rammed his way through the police vehicles and drove straight towards Deputy Gonzalez. Deputy Gonzalez dove for cover and was struck on one leg as he fired at Pena driving the Jeep. Pena drove a short distance further heading southbound in the northbound lanes of I-75 before he struck two citizens vehicles and disabling the Jeep. Pena and Mclaughlin were quickly taken into custody without further incident.

    Hillsborough County Fire Rescue was called to the scene and transported Pena to Tampa General Hospital for medical treatment of a least one gunshot wound to the upper body. At the time of this release, Pena is currently listed in stable condition.

    Bryna L. McLaughlin was not injured in the incident; however she was transposed by EMS to a local hospital after she complained of an unrelated medical issue. The two citizens in their personal vehicles, who Pena struck while attempting to flee, were not injured.

    At the time of this release, both deputies are being treated at a local hospital and are expected to fully recover.  Once they are released from the hospital, they will be placed on routine administrative leave pending review of the incident by the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.

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