By Erika Pesantes
OAKLAND PARK — A Fort Lauderdale murder suspect was killed during a shootout with police and a deputy was hurt when law enforcement agencies were trying to apprehend the man outside an Oakland Park hotel early Wednesday, officials said.
The deputy was not shot, but suffered an arm injury and was treated and released from an area hospital, said Veda Coleman-Wright, a spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff's Office.
Additionally, a hotel guest was shot and suffered an injury that was not believed to be life-threatening.
The shooting unfolded shortly after midnight as the Sheriff's Office Fugitive Squad, Fort Lauderdale police and the U.S. Marshals Service were trying to apprehend the suspect at the Days Inn at 1595 W. Oakland Park Boulevard, Coleman-Wright said.
"We do know the suspect came out and began firing at law enforcement officers," she said.
The man who was being sought was pronounced dead at the scene.
Renee Jenkins was smoking a cigarette outside her hotel room when she heard gunfire, darted back inside and jumped in the tub to protect herself.
She described the sound of gunshots "like a cannon."
"I'm like 'oh, my God,'" Jenkins said. "Police everywhere. Don't make no sense."
She had been baby-sitting her niece's children, a 2-month-old baby and a 1-year-old child, and was eager to leave the hotel Wednesday morning, she said.
The nerves drove her to keep lighting up.
"I smoked the whole pack of cigarettes," she said.
Eric Cooper, 39, his wife and their two teenagers, were sleeping when the commotion unfolded outside about midnight.
They awakened to the sound of gunshots, he said.
"My family is pretty much shaken up," he said, "We heard law enforcement officers telling what I believe to be the suspect to get down."
Cooper then told his own family to get down.
"It was a terrifying experience," he said.
Cooper and his family were visiting from the Bahamas, but despite the scary ordeal plan to return to South Florida.
"I'm thinking that it's not a safe environment to be in. We can't control who comes in and out, who steps into these hotels," he said. "My impression of South Florida is still a good one."
Investigators remained on scene Wednesday morning and gathered outside a second-floor hotel room where the camouflage-clad suspect's body remained in the hallway. A detective appeared to be examining a firearm that was near the body.
The room's window appeared shot out as did the driver's side window of a dark-colored minivan in the parking lot below.
Two vehicles, a large pickup truck and a minivan, were on Oakland Park Boulevard and were surrounded by orange evidence markers. Their license plates were concealed by pieces of cardboard.
The identities of those involved in the incident have not yet been released.
Because of the ongoing investigation, the eastbound and westbound exits to Oakland Park Boulevard from Interstate 95 remain closed. Additionally, Oakland Park Boulevard west of I-95 is closed in both directions from the CSX railroad tracks to Northwest 21st Avenue. Traffic is being rerouted.
The roads are likely to remain closed to motorists throughout the morning.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2013 the Sun Sentinel