1 dead, 1 hospitalized in deputy-involved shooting
LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. (WSVN) -- A tow truck driver was shot and killed during a tense gunfight at a South Florida apartment building that involved a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy and sent the alleged shooter to the hospital, officials said.
Authorities said the shooting took place Tuesday afternoon at a parking garage of the St. Croix Apartments complex on the 4100 block of Northwest 34th Street, part of the Shops at St. Croix facility.
According to investigators, the tow truck driver, 36-year-old David Herr, and a man, who deputies have identified as 31-year-old Triston Johnson, were involved in a dispute related to the removal of a vehicle that escalated into a gunfight. Investigators said Herr was preparing to tow the Johnsons' gold-colored sedan when an argument erupted between the two men.
According to Broward Country Sheriff Scott Israel, Johnson shot and killed Herr, an employee of All County Towing who was removing illegally parked vehicles.
Residents suddenly heard a series of gunshots. "When I looked out the window, for a second I thought it was maybe some fireworks," said Khaleel Spencer.
"Dave's dead over a car, a car!" said Kevin Godfrey, a friend of Herr and a fellow tow truck driver who was one of several colleagues who flooded the scene to pay their respects.
At a news conference, Israel said Johnson started shooting at BSO deputies who had arrived on the scene. "Our deputies exited their vehicles and took on gunfire from the suspect," he said. "One of our deputies returned fire, he struck the suspect."
Johnson was transported to a nearby field and then moved to a helicopter. He was then airlifted to Broward Health Medical Center. His condition and the extent of his injuries were unknown at the time of transport. On Wednesday, he remained hospitalized.
"He just towed the car because it had a bad tag, or a flat tire, or something like that," said Godfrey. "You got to kill him? Come on!"
Godfrey met with other friends and close relatives of David as they looked on in disbelief at the heavy police presence on the scene. "It could have been any one of us, anybody that drives a tow truck, and it's ridiculous," added Godfrey.
The investigation continues.
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