Off-duty officer injured, 1 dead after shooting in Fort Lauderda - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Off-duty officer injured, 1 dead after shooting in Fort Lauderdale

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- An off-duty police officer is recovering in the hospital after a shooting that killed one other person, Thursday night.

The shooting occurred in the parking lot of Maguires Hill 16 Irish Pub, located on the 500th block of North Andrews Avenue. According to police, at around 7:30 p.m., an altercation occurred in the parking lot of the restaurant and Fort Lauderdale Police officer Mark Shotwell, who was off-duty at the time, then tried to intervene.

"There seemed to be a disturbance between a white male subject and a white female subject inside a vehicle. The vehicle pulled into the parking lot at Maguires Hill Pub, on the south side of the establishment," said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel. "Shortly after, the male exited the vehicle, there was a gun battle between that subject and an off-duty Fort Lauderdale police officer. The subject succumbed to his wounds. He is deceased."

One witness said, "I was inside, and I just heard popping, and being around the Fourth of July, we thought it was fireworks. We saw so many people running in, next thing I know, everyone was running in and everybody inside was running toward the window to see what was happening."

Patrons of the pub said Shotwell was playing poker before he walked outside to help. "I heard it was a domestic outside and Mark, knowing Mark, he's a peacemaker," said Frank Fahey.

"I ran out, I went up there, right there in the middle. Mark was laying there bleeding, and the other fellow was just laying eight feet away," said a witness.

Another witness said, "I saw him, the officer was face up, he was shaking. He was still alive, going pale."

The off-duty officer was transported to Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition. He was taken into surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. "I'm really glad to hear he is making it," said a local.

Those who know the 30-year veteran of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department called him a peacemaker all around nice guy. "Everybody likes him, everybody knows him. He's a regular. Everybody speaks highly of him," said a patron of Maguires Hill.

Bar patrons were allowed to pick up their vehicles Friday and recapped their experiences. "Popping, popping. It sounded like M-80s, M-80 fireworks," said one witness.

Witnesses and regulars of the bar also said the dispute may have started with one of the employees of the pub, but officials have yet to confirm.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler visited the officer at the hospital Friday morning. "I do know the officer, I know the officer very well," said Seiler. "He's an outstanding officer, tremendous career with the City of Fort Lauderdale that has served this community well. The officer is doing better. He's stabilized, and I know we are all praying for him and praying for his family and our thoughts and prayers are with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. They do a heck of a job, day-in and day-out, as you see here they put their lives on the line for the City of Fort Lauderdale and for our neighbors."

Shotwell has been involved in many high-profile cases throughout the years. In 2011, 7News interviewed Shotwell for an "Out For Justice" story. In 2012, he was named Fort Lauderdale's officer of the year. "He's a great man, happens to be a great detective and somebody that wouldn't hesitate to put himself in harm's way to save somebody else," said one man outside the hospital, Friday.

Fort Lauderdale Police have since turned their investigation over to BSO. "This is a difficult moment for us. This is a difficult moment for investigators. There is a reason why the Broward Sheriff's Office is coming to take over this investigation because it involves one of our own," said Fort Lauderdale Police Captain Frank Sousa.

Police continue to investigate. "We had 40 to 50 people inside the bar when it happened, so it's going to be a lengthy investigation," said Israel.

Shotwell remains in critical but stable condition.
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