Trail of blood leads Fla. SWAT to suspect, 3 arrested
Three men are in custody following a burglary and police-involved shooting
By Wayne K. Roustan
LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. — Three men are in custody following a burglary and police-involved shooting in Lauderdale Lakes, Wednesday.
It began around 11 a.m. at a home on the 2100 block of Southwest 15th Place in Deerfield Beach, Broward Sheriff's spokeswoman Dani Moschella said.
"Luckily, witnesses saw a black Toyota Solara that left the scene," she said. "They were astute enough to notice the [rental] vehicle and take down the tag number."
A Lauderhill police officer spotted the car around 2 p.m. and attempted a traffic stop in the 3000 block of Northwest 49th Avenue in Lauderdale Lakes.
"The vehicle did not stop," Moschella said. "There's some interaction between the Lauderhill Police officer and the suspects in the car and the Lauderhill Police officer is forced to fire his weapon."
It was unknown if any of the suspects were shot but the circumstances of the shooting will be investigated, Lauderhill Lt. Michael Butkus said.
"There are so many different scenarios I wouldn't want to try to guess as to which one [applied] in this case but that's what we're going to get to the bottom of," he said.
The trio bailed out of the Solara and jumped into a canal near the 2300 block of N. State Road 7.
Some deputies jumped in and pulled one man from the water at 2:09 p.m., a second was found hiding under a parked car at 2:24 p.m. and the third man ran into the Cypress Tree apartments, she said.
The Broward Sheriff's SWAT team was called in and around 3:20 p.m. a trail of blood led them to unit 407 on the 2100 block of Northwest 41st Avenue where the suspect was hiding, Moschella said.
"It's unclear how this person was injured," she said. "There was blood on the suspect and blood leading up to the apartment which is why SWAT team members went in and got him."
The third suspect was taken to a hospital to be medically cleared before being taken to jail. It was unknown if the blood was the result of the officer's gunfire or if the suspect was injured some other way, she said.
Artavius Snell, 30, of Lauderdale Lakes, was standing outside as dozens of deputies and officers converged near the Cypress Tree apartments to set up a perimeter with K9s and the sheriff's helicopter involved in the search.
"This is really crazy," he said. "You're trying to enjoy the holidays and have a good time and you've got to deal with [these suspects]."
Sheriff Scott Israel said it could have been much worse.
"The deputies are unharmed, the officers are unharmed, we do have an injured suspect but based on what could have happened I'm pleased with the outcome," he said.
Staff writer Ariel Barkhurst contributed to this report.
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