FHP Trooper shot and killed
FHP Trooper killed in Highlands County
Last Edited: Friday, 12 Jan 2007, 10:07 PM EST
Created: Friday, 12 Jan 2007, 3:54 PM EST
Trooper Nick Sottile Sr. was shot and killed Friday afternoon.
LAKE PLACID FL- The arrival of darkness did not slow down the search for the two men responsible for the fatal shooting of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper Friday afternoon.
It was just before 3:30 p.m. when Nick Sottile Sr. was shot during a traffic stop along U.S. Highway 27 in the Lake Placid area (near Sebring FL). Two hours later, he was pronounced dead at Florida Hospital.
Investigators believe two white or Hispanic men were involved in the shooting; one fled on foot into the nearby citrus groves, while the other took off in a car. Officials are now looking for that 2003 champagne - or white-colored Toyota Camry.
The view from SkyFox showed troopers on their hands and knees, looking for evidence in the grass next to Highway 27. Down the road, dozens of cruisers had converged on a makeshift command center.
A spokeswoman said neighboring Polk County sent a number of patrol units to Highlands, along with one of their helicopters, to assist in the search. Several other counties did the same.
Any motorist who may have been in the area of the shooting is asked to call 863-402-7200.
Meanwhile, traffic remained backed up in the area. One southbound lane of U.S. 27 was re-routed onto the northbound lanes, meaning only one lane was getting by in each direction.
Sottile leaves behind a wife, Elizabeth; a daughter, Heather, of Orlando; and a son Nick, of Tampa, who also works for the Florida Highway Patrol.