ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A suspect in the shooting of two Florida police officers was fatally shot by SWAT team members Saturday several hours later after he barricaded himself in a hotel in Orlando’s tourist district, the culmination of a manhunt across central Florida, police officials said.
The Orlando Police Department officers stopped a vehicle around 11 p.m. Friday as part of an investigation of a Miami homicide and were shot by the suspect in the car, Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith said during a press conference early Saturday.
The officers, who were not immediately identified, were transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Hospital officials said Saturday afternoon that the officers were expected to fully recover.
“Both officers are with us. They are with their families. We have been taking care of them throughout the night,” Michael Cheatham, a surgeon at the hospital, said at an afternoon news conference. “We expect them to fully recover from their injuries sustained in the line of duty.”
After shooting the officers, the suspect carjacked another vehicle and police pursued, but did not immediately catch the suspect.
About seven hours later, officers tracked the suspect down to a Holiday Inn near Universal Orlando Resort in the city’s tourist district and evacuated guests staying at the hotel. The suspect refused to come out of the hotel room and fired shots at officers who returned fire, Smith said at an afternoon news conference.
“Our officers faced danger throughout the night trying to locate the suspect as two of our own were critically injured,” Smith said. “They are lucky to be alive, and we ask that you continue to pray for them.”
Smith said the suspect had an extensive criminal history.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he had visited the hospital and met with the families of the officers.
“Our entire community’s thoughts and prayers are with these officers,” Dyer said at the news conference.
Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.