Chief: Gunman tried to 'ambush' officers in shootout at Trump resort
Police Director Juan Perez said the gunman tried to engage officers "in some kind of ambush-type attack"
By Freida Frisaro
DORAL, Fla. — Gunfire erupted early Friday at President Donald Trump's Miami-area golf resort, as a Florida man shouting anti-Trump rhetoric fired into the hotel lobby's chandelier and waited for police to arrive for what one official called an "ambush-type attack," police said.
Five police officers from Miami-Dade County and the city of Doral exchanged gunfire with the man, injuring him, and quickly ended the threat at the Trump-owned Trump National Doral Golf Club, Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said.
"These officers did not hesitate one second to engage this individual that was actively shooting in the lobby of the hotel," Perez said. "They risked their lives, knowing that that they had to get in there to save lives in that hotel."
Trump was not at the suburban golf resort at the time.
Perez identified the suspect as 42-year-old Jonathan Oddi, who lives in a condo building about a mile away.
Perez said Oddi took a flag from a flagpole at the resort and draped it over the counter in the lobby, where he pointed his gun at several people but only fired into the ceiling and light fixtures overhead until police officers arrived.
It was not immediately clear how Oddi gained access to the resort grounds.
"We don't know what his intentions were in the long term but we know what he was doing at the time — he was trying to engage our police officers in some kind of ambush-type attack," Perez said.
In plotting the ambush, Perez added, "He did succeed — and he did lose."
One Doral Police officer broke a wrist and the suspect suffered gunshot wounds in his legs in the incident, which began around 1:30 a.m., according to police. Video footage showed the conscious suspect being wheeled into a hospital on a gurney, and Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said Oddi was hospitalized in good condition Friday afternoon.
Eric Trump, the president's son and executive vice president of the Trump organization, tweeted early Friday, "A huge thank you to the incredible men and women" of the departments, adding that "every day they keep our community safe."
The Secret Service issued a statement saying its agents were at the scene and working closely with other agencies. It added, "No Secret Service protectees or security operations were impacted as a result of the shooting."
Court records in Miami-Dade and Broward counties show a slew of misdemeanor traffic infractions for Oddi, but no felony arrests.
Neighbors and patrons of a nearby gym said they often saw Oddi lifting weights, but they rarely had any interaction with the beefy man beyond casual greetings.
"He was always in the gym," said Lina Diaz, who lives on the same floor as Oddi. "He seemed like a normal guy, nothing aggressive or weird."
Diaz and other residents woke up Friday morning to police tape blocking a driveway to the building, and officers and media gathered at its entrances.
"You never know who is living next door to you. It is sad and shocking," Diaz said.
Oddi worked as a dancer and entertainer, and he owns a small dog named Popo, one friend, Luis David Gonzalez, said in an interview with The Miami Herald .
Gonzalez was bringing coffee and eggs to Oddi on Friday morning when he heard about the shooting. He said he worked out with Oddi every day.
"I'm surprised and confused," Gonzalez said. "I knew him 10 years. He's a good person."
The large Trump-owned golf facility in the growing suburb was surrounded by a heavy police presence Friday. The entrances were blocked with yellow police tape and by patrol vehicles throughout the day.
No resort employees or guests were injured, Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez said.
The golf resort previously known as the Doral Resort & Spa was purchased by the Trump Organization in 2012. Its signature course is the Blue Monster at Doral.
The Trump National Doral, which includes several buildings for lodging and an expansive clubhouse, is among the largest hotels in the Miami suburb. It's about 8 miles (13 kilometers) from Miami International Airport.
Its website describes it as an 800-acre resort with 643 total guest rooms, more than 100,000 square feet (9,300 square meters) of event space and four golf courses.
In June 2016, the PGA Tour announced that the prestigious World Golf Championship hosted at the Trump National Doral since 2007 would relocate to Mexico. The announcement infuriated then-candidate Trump, who called the move to Mexico a "sad day for Miami, the United States and the game of golf." Trump said in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity that, "I hope they have kidnapping insurance."
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said the move had nothing to do with politics, only finances. Cadillac did not renew its title sponsorship of the event, and no other sponsor that wanted to be at Doral was found, Finchem said.