Two Orlando police officers were shot dead during a traffic stop on Friday, sparking a mass manhunt for the suspects that ended in a shootout, officials said.
Officers were injured while searching a vehicle linked to a murder in Miami around 11 p.m. Friday, reports Saturday said. statement By Orlando Police Department (OPD). The suspect then reportedly shot and seriously injured police officers, hijacked a car and fled.
The suspect was spotted at the Holiday Inn and quickly evacuated by local SWAT teams around 6 a.m. Saturday, reports Saturday said. statement by OPD. The suspect reportedly barricaded himself in his room and began a shootout after refusing multiple attempts to persuade him to surrender. According to OPD, he died around 8:58 am.
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) August 5, 2023
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said, “We are grateful to the doctors and nurses who are providing essential care to injured officers at this time.” statement “I also want to join Chief Smith in thanking our officers and law enforcement partners for making sure the suspect no longer poses a threat to our community,” he tweeted.
Authorities have identified the suspect as Dayton Viel, 28, who has a long criminal record. (Related: Newly released video shows police shootout with suspect in crowded supermarket)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “The brave men and women of law enforcement risk their lives every day to serve and protect.” statement Before the shootout, he posted on Twitter, “Perpetrators must be severely punished.”
The Orlando Department of Health Chief Surgeon Dr. Michael Cheatham told a news conference that the officers were in critical condition but both were expected to make a full recovery. Press conference Saturday.
“The officers are lucky to be alive. Please continue to pray for them,” Orlando Police Chief Eric D. Smith said in a statement.