‘They literally had to return fire from or shoot their weapons from the inside of the vehicle that they were in,’ police chief says
The shooting, which included three suspects, took place on Tuesday at around 1pm in central Orlando.
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said during a press briefing on Tuesday that police approached three men on the pavement when shots were fired, with several bullets hitting the unmarked police car, from where the officers fired back several times.
“We are very fortunate not to be speaking about an officer-involved shooting where we may have lost one of our officers in this incident,” Chief Rolón said, according to Fox 35. “We’re kind of puzzled as to how this happened. En gang til, the officers simply pulled up, as they tried to make contact, before they could get out of their car, there are shots that went into that vehicle that they were in.”
The three suspects, who are all in custody, have been charged with attempted first-degree murder on a law enforcement officer with a firearm and with aggravated assault with a firearm.
The three men have been identified as Jameon Brown, 22, Michael Collins, 19, and Travis Weston, 17.
Mr Weston was taken to hospital after his leg was injured. Mr Brown, arrested shortly afterwards, had an arm injury treated by the Orlando Fire Department before he was charged. Mr Collins was arrested on Wednesday.
The two police officers involved in the shooting didn’t sustain any injuries.
The officers were in an unmarked car but were wearing clothing that said “police”. Chief Rolón said the officers were responding to a Crimeline tip, but didn’t say what the tip was. He added that the officers were not looking for the three men who were later involved in the shootout. He said the suspects were on bicycles and opened fire before contact could be established.
“They literally had to return fire from or shoot their weapons from the inside of the vehicle that they were in,” Mr Rolón said.