(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Two police officers were injured in a shooting in Orlando, Florida, on Friday night after they stopped a vehicle allegedly connected to a homicide, police said.
The suspected gunman was killed in a shootout with SWAT officers at a hotel Saturday morning, Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith said at a press briefing.
The incident began at about 11 p.m. local time, when officers stopped a vehicle wanted in connection with a homicide in Miami, according to Smith. While outside the vehicle during the traffic stop, the suspect shot and struck both officers, then fled in another vehicle, authorities said.
After an “extensive search,” police located the suspect at a Holiday Inn at about 6 a.m. Saturday, according to Smith. The hotel was safely evacuated, and the suspect barricaded himself in a room, Smith said.
“Several attempts were made to get the suspect to safely surrender,” Smith said.
Shortly before 9 a.m., the suspect shot at SWAT officers “multiple times,” Smith said. The officers returned fire, striking the suspect, who died, Smith said.
The suspect was identified by police as 28-year-old Daton Viel.
The officers injured in the traffic stop shooting were transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition. They are expected to fully recover from their injuries, Orlando Health officials said on Saturday.
“Our officers are lucky to be alive and we ask that you continue to pray for them,” Smith said.
The chief called the incident a tragedy for the department.
“For some piece of crap to do this to them, because they don’t want to go back to prison, is ridiculous,” Smith said. “We’re not going to put up with it. We’re going to stay out there fighting crime and keep our communities safe.”
In a statement on social media, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer thanked law enforcement officers “who’ve ensured the suspect is no longer a threat to our community.”
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