A sheriff's deputy was shot dead late Monday while responding to reports of car break-ins, officials in Florida said.
The father of three's suspected killer appeared to have run off and then killed himself, according to police in Orange County. A second suspect was also taken into custody.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet that the slain 34-year-old deputy was a “true hero.” Sheriff Jerry Demings said colleagues on the force were “devastated by this tragic loss.”
Capt. Angelo Nieves told NBC station WESH that it did not appear the deputy had fired back at the suspect.
The slain deputy responded to a report of several cars being broken into at around 10:50 p.m. but when he arrived the suspect ran off, Orange County Undersheriff Rey Rivero told reporters outside the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
After an hour-long search of the the area, the deputy located the suspect and chased him on foot, Rivero said. The suspect shot him once, but he continued to give chase and called for backup.
More shots were heard and the deputy’s body was found at the scene a short time later, Rivero said.
He was taken to the medical center but doctors were not able to save his life.
The name of the slain deputy had not been released early Tuesday, but officials confirmed he had been on the force since January 2011.
First published February 11 2014, 2:31 AM
Alexander Smith is a staff reporter at NBCNews.com based in London. He started work there in August 2013, and is responsible for finding, verifying, and writing breaking stories. He moved to NBC News from its standalone startup BreakingNews.com, where he was a breaking news editor. Before Breaking News, he was a reporter in the regional press where he covered crime and courts.
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