ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The suspect in the shooting of two Florida police officers Saturday was fatally shot by SWAT team members several hours later after he barricaded himself in a hotel in Orlando’s tourist district, culminating a manhunt across central Florida, police officials said.
The Orlando Police Department officers stopped a vehicle around 11 p.m. Friday as part of an investigation of a Miami homicide and were shot by the suspect in the car, Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith said during a press conference early Saturday.
The officers, who were not immediately identified, were transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Hospital officials said Saturday afternoon that the officers were expected to fully recover.
“This is a sad day for our department,” Smith said. “These officers are out here every day protecting our community.”
The suspect carjacked another vehicle and police pursued, but did not immediately catch the suspect.
About seven hours later, officers tracked the suspect down to a Holiday Inn near Universal Orlando Resort in the city’s tourist district and evacuated guests staying at the hotel. The suspect refused to come out of the hotel and fired shots at officers who returned fire, Smith said at an afternoon news conference.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he had visited the hospital and met with the families of the officers.
“Our entire community’s thoughts and prayers are with these officers,” Dyer said at the news conference.