2 officers shot, wounded on highway; gunman dead
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- Authorities continue to investigate a shooting that left two officers wounded on the Florida Turnpike.
Dozens of officers rushed to the Turnpike near the Hollywood Boulevard exit Thursday afternoon, after reports came in of a man dressed in black, carrying a gun and firing shots at passing vehicles.
According to the FBI, who is leading the investigation, they believe the gunman first stole a car in Miami, then robbed a barbershop in Pembroke Pines. Then, officials said, the suspect stole another car, got on the highway and was involved in an accident.
Agents said, Key Biscayne officer Nelia Real saw the accident on her way home and tried to help. The gunman then shot Real in the neck. "She was on her way home. She thought she saw a traffic accident, and she was just trying to do her job," said Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press.
A Customs and Immigration Agent was shot in the arm also while trying to help. Both officers were taken to Hollywood Memorial Hospital. Friday, Real remains in stable but critical condition.
A 7 News viewer captured video of the gunman, who terrified drivers. "He had on all black. He had dreads. He had a 9 millimeter in his hand, and he pointed at me," said Tremellody Penson.
A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy was also injured while trying to respond to the scene. The deputy was involved in a car accident and sustained minor injuries.
The suspect was pronounced dead on the scene. "The suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," said an official.
Officers gathered at the hospital Thursday evening. They continue to pray for Real. "It's a horrible situation, but this one looks like it might have a happy ending," said Press.
Florida Highway Patrol closed the Turnpike in both directions, near the Hollywood Boulevard exit for several hours as they investigated the scene. It has since reopened.
At this time, officials have not released the identity of the gunman.
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