PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – Pinellas County Sheriff Deputy Michael Hartwick was killed by a hit-and-run driver overnight and the suspect is now in custody.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was seeking the public’s assistance in locating the suspect, 35-year-old Victor Vazquez-Real, who is believed to have killed Deputy Michael Hartwick in a hit-and-run crash overnight.
“It is with extraordinary sadness that we announce that Deputy Michael Hartwick was killed in the line of duty late Thursday evening as a result of a hit and run crash on I-275 in St. Petersburg,” Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Southbound I-275 traffic will be diverted onto Ulmerton Road. Northbound I-275 traffic will be diverted onto Gandy Blvd. Expect traffic delays until midday Friday.
The northbound I-275 entrance at Roosevelt Blvd is closed. Southbound traffic onto I-275 at Roosevelt Blvd will remain open. Eastbound and westbound lanes of Roosevelt Blvd are open.
Pasco Sheriff’s Office released a statement Friday in the death of Deputy Hartwick, “Our hearts and thoughts are with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the friends and family of Dep. Michael Hartwick, who was killed in the line of duty overnight. May you rest in peace, Dep. Hartwick. Thank you for your service to the citizens of Pinellas County.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details are released.