VENICE - A Bradenton man led Venice Police on a car chase, foot chase and was involved in an officer-involved shooting, then hid in an apartment early Saturday before eventually being taken into custody. 

The investigation remains underway.

Neither the suspect nor the officer was wounded when the Venice Police officer discharged his weapon during a fight between the two. 

Kevin A. Hamilton, 24, of Bradenton, faces several charges after the incident.

Hamilton was taken into custody at an apartment in the 400 block of Armada Avenue, officials confirmed in a news release.

Authorities said it began when police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Hamilton's car early Saturday. He then led them on a car chase, stopping along Menendez Street near John Nolan Park on the island. 

Hamilton then tried to run away. 

"After a short foot pursuit, the suspect and the officer had a scuffle," Venice Police Chief Tom Mattmuller said at a Saturday afternoon news conference. "During that scuffle, the officer's weapon was discharged."

Mattmuller said after a shot was fired, the officer was able to reholster his weapon. 

"The officer and the suspect fought for an additional two minutes," he said. 

Hamiliton was able to escape and ran to an apartment, where he knew the people inside, Mattmuller said. 

Venice Police set up a perimeter, determined which apartment he was in and was eventually about to make contact with him later Saturday morning.   

"He did cooperate with officers, eventually coming out about 9:35," Mattmuller said. 

The scuffle and discharge of the weapon will continue to be investigated, he said. Mattmuller said the inquiry will involve the officer's statement that is due Saturday evening.

That officer, who suffered abrasions and bruises, is slated to go back on duty.

Charges for Hamilton include fleeing to elude; driving with a suspended license, battery on a law enforcement officer, felony drug charges "and probably some additional charges pending after the investigation," Mattmuller said.  

The incident occurred along Menendez Street which is near John Nolan Park on the island. It runs along the park and between Castille Street and the park's circle.

Police investigated an area along Menendez, taking evidence from a location across from the park. 

Authorities said early on they knew the identity of the suspect and "officers are searching for him."

Hamilton was arrested by Venice Police in April, on marijuana possession of not more than 20 grams along with drug possession of THC oil without a prescription. He was also held on a Manatee County charge at that time. He was released from Sarasota County Jail in August on other charges.



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