The suspect who shot two Orlando Police Officers on Friday night and critically injured them is dead following a standoff between a SWAT Team near Universal Orlando.
Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith updated the press on the shooting during a Saturday afternoon press conference. He identified the suspect as Daton Viel (28 years old), who had a long criminal record. Police determined that a second suspect was not involved in the shooting.
Smith said that police searched all night for the suspect, after two officers had been shot at a traffic checkpoint in the late evening of Friday. The vehicle of the suspect was thought to be linked to a Miami homicide investigation.
According to the Orlando Police Department, after the shooting the suspect stole another vehicle, and a pursuit followed.
Smith stated that police conducted an “extensive” search and found the suspect at a Holiday Inn located in the 5900 Block of Caravan Court across from Universal Orlando. SWAT was dispatched to the area at 6 am on Saturday. The hotel was evacuated safely.
Police repeatedly tried to convince him to surrender, but he refused.
Smith said that at 8:58 am, the suspect fired “multiple” times on SWAT officers. The police returned fire, hitting the suspect and killing him.
In a previous case, involving a girl of 14, Viel had been identified as suspect. According to the Orlando Police Department, in December 2022 he was accused of sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestations, and lewd/lascivious displays.
“I would like to thank Orlando Health as well as all the law enforcement agencies that helped us during the night.” Smith added, “I also want to express my gratitude to everyone in our community for sharing information and supporting our department.” “Our officers are fortunate to still be alive.” Please continue to pray.
Orlando Health confirmed that the officers were alive and are now with their family. The officers are expected to recover fully.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis, the first lady of Florida, said they were praying Saturday for the officers’ families.
DeSantis wrote on Twitter: “Our brave men in police risk their lives every day for the protection and service of our citizens.” The perpetrator must be brought to justice.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer thanked officers and their families at a news conference earlier in the day.
Dyer stated that “they put their lives at risk every day for the safety of our community.” “I also want to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff at Orlando Health who responded quickly and provided vital care to these officers during this time of crisis. Our community is praying for those brave officers, their families, and the entire OPD in this difficult time.
Fox News Christina Shaw contributed this report.