BSO focus on person of interest in deputy's killing
OAKLAND PARK, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Broward Sheriff's Office is releasing new details in the murder of a South Florida deputy that had remained unsolved for nearly six years.
Tuesday afternoon, authorities announced that they could be one step closer to solving the murder of Sgt. Chris Reyka, who was ambushed and killed in August of 2007 in the parking lot of a Pompano Beach Walgreens when he stopped to investigate a suspicious car. Police said the shooter discharged his firearm at Reyka five times.
For the first time in six years, BSO officials are naming a person of interest. "Today, I want you to know that cop killer Shawn Labeet is now considered the focus of this homicide investigation," declared BSO Sheriff Scott Israel during a news conference.
In addition to Labeet's name, detectives said a crucial piece of evidence that links Labeet to the murder scene was discovered at a car wash located on Dixie Highway in Oakland Park. Authorities declined to give further details but are asking tipsters who called in anonymously to contact them again.
"I know, today, you guys are going to desire information of what we've uncovered," said BSO Detective John Curcio. "It relates to the murder of Sgt. Reyka, and at this time we cannot, for the integrity of the investigation, divulge it. This is necessary to ensure that all tips we received are uncompromised."
Labeet was killed by a SWAT team in Pembroke Pines 34 days later, the same day four Miami-Dade Police officers working a crime detail in the Cutler Bay area attempted to pull him over. Labeet drove to his home and then opened fire on the law enforcers with an AK-47, killing Officer Jose Somohano and injuring the three others.
"There's an underlying reason, in my opinion, why that occurred, and we are committed to finding out whether that underlying reason was the murder of Sgt. Chris Reyka," said Curcio about the confrontation that ended Labeet's life. Detectives have revealed that two witnesses have given sworn statements that place Labeet at a business and apartment complex in Pompano Beach on the night of Reyka's murder.
Investigators are still looking for Labeet's friends who may have been with him the night Sgt. Reyka was murdered. They still have not located the white car seen on surveillance video driving away from the crime scene shortly after the incident.
Curcio said he hopes new clues and new tips will help them solve this case. "The type of information we are trying to obtain is, if you know who Shawn Labeet's friends and associates are, any firearms he can be linked to directly or indirectly, any vehicles, including vehicles that fit the description of the suspect's vehicle seen at the Iowa Casino on the night of the murder," he said.
Detectives hope they can help bring closure to Reyka's family, including his son, who is currently serving as a BSO deputy.
A reward of $278,225 remains up for grabs for information in the case. If you know anything, call this special tip line: 954-880-3950.
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