A tense standoff between police and a suspect at a Florida hotel ended in a fatal gunfight on Saturday morning. The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Daton S. Viel, had allegedly shot two officers in a previous encounter. That shooting left both of the officers in critical condition. Orlando Police Chief Eric D. Smith described the suspect as having an “extensive violent and criminal history.”
The violence unfolded on Friday night when two officers were investigating a vehicle linked to a Miami homicide. During the stop, the suspect opened fire, injuring the officers, and then fled the scene in another stolen car. A manhunt ensued, leading authorities to the suspect’s location at the Holiday Inn on Caravan Court.
After an extensive search, the SWAT team arrived at the hotel at 6 a.m. They were able to successfully evacuate people who were staying on the premises. The suspect barricaded himself in a room, refusing to surrender despite repeated attempts by the police. At 8:58 a.m., the suspect fired multiple shots at the SWAT officers, who returned fire, ultimately killing the suspect.
Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted an expression of his support for law enforcement as a result of their willingness to risk their lives in dangerous cases like this. Chief Smith also expressed his sadness over the incident, stating, “This is a sad day for our department.”
The two injured officers remain in critical condition, and their identities have not been released. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, with authorities working to determine the motive behind the suspect’s actions.