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Man dead after police-involved shooting in Leesburg

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LEESBURG, Fla. - A man is dead following a police-involved shooting in Leesburg.

Leesburg police officials said Carlos Oquendo tried to run down one of their officers during a chase right before a deadly exchange of gunfire Tuesday morning.

According to Leesburg police, Oquendo was taken by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he died.

Police said the shooting began around 11 a.m. with a traffic stop. They said the man tried to run from Leesburg officers, making a turn down a street to get away. The street dead-ended, which is when witnesses said Oquendo threw his car into reverse and almost hit one of the officers.

Kishaun Byron saw the final minutes of the brief chase that ended with a blue Toyota just feet from his front door.

"Right after it was two police cars, and the officers jumped out and drew their guns and said, 'Stop the vehicle and get out of the car,'" Byron said.

Witnesses said the man fired at officers before turning down the dead end. A gun was pulled from his car and then investigators lifted the hood of one of the patrol cars to reveal bullet holes.

"He clipped this tree, you can still see paint chippings, and then shots were fired right about in the middle of the grass," said witness Kenny Johnson.

It wasn't until after the man tried to hit the officers that police opened fire, killing him, witnesses said.

"They let rounds off and that's when the dude got hit and he crashed the car and everything," Johnson said.

Johnson said Oquendo tried to take one of the officers out, but luckily he jumped toward his car.

The shooting happened in the area of Euclid Avenue and Lucerne Circle around 11 a.m.

Police said the officer was not shot but was checked for minor injuries.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.

Neighbors all reported hearing the same thing.

"I heard five to six really loud booms," said witness Andrew Smith.

Smith said it was one shot at first and then there were six shots after that.

Officers fired several shots into the blue Toyota, the yellow tags and bullet markers showing where each round entered.

Police have not revealed why Oquendo was stopped or why he ran.