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Officers kill armed man, hostage at Fla. motel; he fired first

Associated Press Writer

TAMPA, Fla.- Police officers shot and killed a man and the woman he was holding hostage after the suspect fired a shotgun at them, police said.

Officers responding to a witness report saw the armed man and the hostage inside a motel room, police spokesman Laura McElroy said. They heard a gunshot, and minutes later the man came out of the room with the woman.

"He has the woman in a headlock with the gun pointed at her head," McElroy said. "He spots an officer to his right, levels the shotgun at the officer and fires at the officer."

More than one officer shot at the man, killing him and wounding the woman, McElroy said. She died at a hospital hours later.

McElroy said the officers were forced to return fire to defend themselves, regardless of the hostage situation. She said the officers were "just sick" that an innocent person was killed.

"It's the last thing they wanted to do," she said.

The suspect, Gary T. Brewer, 45, had held another woman, his girlfriend, hostage at her condominium for hours beginning late Thursday, McElroy said. She broke away and called police, but Brewer fled before officers arrived.

Investigators were still trying to determine how Brewer knew the first woman.

The gunshot that came from inside the motel room hit a dog, which was wounded.

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