09/01/2007

Orlando police fatally shoot gunman after shootout

By Bianca Prieto
The Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO - A suspected armed robber was killed in a shootout with police and a second man was arrested Friday evening in west Orlando, authorities said.

Officers would not identify the two men, but the survivor could face several charges, including felony murder, police said.

Orlando police were called to an armed robbery at Nationwide Warehouse and Storage, in the 2500 block of Silver Star Road, about 5:41 p.m.

When police arrived, they saw two men leaving in a blue Chevrolet Camaro, said Officer Jim Young, an Orlando police spokesman. After a short chase, officers boxed in the suspects with their cars near Mercy Drive and Princeton Street.

But once their car stopped, both men ran from officers in different directions. One tried to carjack a vehicle carrying a mother and her children, but kept running toward businesses on Mercy Drive, police said.

The other man ran into nearby woods, Young said. The man turned and fired several shots at officers, missing them, according to police.

Young said five police officers then returned fire, killing the suspect.

"These suspects are getting more and more violent," Young said. "They don't seem to understand that violence isn't going to happen in this city."

There have been at least 13 previous police shootings in Central Florida in the past 12 months, most resulting in the death of the suspect, Orlando Sentinel archives show.

It was unclear which officer's gun killed the man, but all five were placed on administrative leave until an investigation is completed, Young said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating, which is standard procedure for all shootings involving officers.

Police ran after the other suspect and overtook him quickly. He was slightly injured during the arrest and was taken to an area hospital. Young said he expected the suspect to be booked into the Orange County Jail after being released from the hospital.

The intersection, amid one of the city's highest-crime areas, remained closed into the night Friday, and several police officers were still at the scene.

More than a dozen orange flags marked evidence along the west shoulder of Mercy Drive, and money was lying in the street earlier in the night. Young said the roads were expected to be open by morning.

Copyright 2007 Sentinel Communications Co.

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