Polk County Sheriffs Office Press Release
Around 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, Wednesday, January 15, 2020, PCSO received a BOLO out of the city of Plant City that a white male and white female suspect, both with warrants, fled from the scene of an armed carjacking in a stolen silver Toyota Tacoma. The BOLO contained information that the suspects were armed and dangerous, and fled Plant City after running over a Plant City Police Officer. The female suspect had also been shot by a Plant City Police Officer while the truck she was in with her boyfriend was fleeing.
Further information was received that the suspects committed a second carjacking north of Plant City, in the unincorporated area, and were then in a blue Toyota truck.
At 1:40 p.m., a PCSO Deputy Sheriff who was in the Bailey Road area searching for the suspects, spotted the stolen blue truck and then encountered both suspects in another stolen vehicle, a black Volkswagen, within a trailer park on Bailey Place, just off of Bailey Road in the Willow Oak (Mulberry) area.
While attempting to place the female suspect under arrest – 36-year-old April Thompson (DOB 4/14/83) – the male suspect got out of the front passenger seat of the car, and went around to the other side to get into the driver’s seat. The male suspect ignored the deputy’s commands to stop, and attempted to flee with April in the backseat. While the Deputy was trying to stop the male suspect from driving away, he heard a female voice scream, “He’s got a gun!” several times, and observed the suspect – 31-year-old Aaron Phillips (DOB 5/20/88) – reach down towards the floorboard. Deputy Sheriff Andre Jackson, in fear for his life, shot the suspect, and the suspect is deceased.
April Thompson, who was in the backseat of the stolen vehicle, was also shot. She was taken to a local hospital to be treated for her two gunshot wounds (one to the leg by Plant City P.D. and one to the stomach by PCSO). She is in stable condition, and is being held on her multiple felony charges until she is taken to the Polk County Jail.
There is a handgun visible on the floorboard of the VW car that Phillips is in. The car will be taken to be processed by PCSO Crime Scene this evening.
Both of the suspects already had out-of-county warrants for their arrests before today’s crime spree began. Aaron Phillips has Hillsborough (PCPD) warrants for armed false imprisonment, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and grand theft. He just got out of state prison after having served 4 years and 10 months. April Thompson has a Polk County warrant for VOP (grand theft and burglary), and a Hillsborough warrant for VOP (dangerous drugs). She’s been in the Polk County Jail and her mugshot can be found on our website in the jail inquiry section.
Please refer any questions about the crime spree and officer-involved shooting in Plant City to PCPD, and the second carjacking that occurred in Cooper Road in unincorporated Hillsborough County to HCSO.