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Florida Shooting: Shots Fired in Apartment Building; Two Reported Dead

Aired April 27, 2001 - 11:50   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to join a breaking news situation right now in Hollywood, Florida. The situation -- this is from our affiliate WSVN in Miami.

This is happening in Hollywood, Florida. They are outside an apartment building in Hollywood where there are reports of a sniper inside this apartment building, and apparently reports as well that two people have already been shot and killed.

We are going to join our affiliate coverage. Let's listen in to WSVN.

CARLOS Meehan, HOLLYWOOD POLICE: ... shots towards the suspect. What happened, when the officers responded, the suspect started shooting at the police officers. They took cover and called the -- called for backup. Now, when SWAT responded, there was some shots -- more shots fired and some explosions. Those explosions was the SWAT team setting up. When they cleared the building, they searched the building. And unfortunately, that's when they found two more victims. And it appears that one of them is the shooter.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: Any idea, did he take his life?

MEGRON: No, so far, it's -- we are still doing the investigation. We don't know if he took his own life.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: What can you tell us about the other victim?

MEGRON: So, far, I don't have anything. We'll let you know.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: So, again, just to reiterate, you say there's four victims in total.


UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: One believed to be the suspect who is fatally shot.

MEGRON: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: Another victim fatally shot. We have the pregnant woman was transported to Memorial Hospital. And you say there is the fourth one?

MEGRON: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: Male or female? What can you tell us about that


MEGRON: That, I don't yet. We don't know yet.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: What is the scene like now inside?

MEGRON: Well, right now, the detectives are checking and they're doing the investigation with the SWAT team. They just cleared the building. We had evacuated the adjacent buildings around the area. They just -- I don't know what the scene looks like inside.

Because it is such a heavy crime scene -- and we can imagine the folks inside of this Hollywood townhouse are hearing the commotion downstairs in the lobby, what advice -- are they still being told to stay indoors?

MEGRON: Yes. Well, what we still tell them is, if you are watching this newscast, we are advising to stay inside the apartments. Don't come out until the officers go and they tell them to come out, you can come out.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: But, obviously, at this time, they can rest assured that at least that suspect is no longer a danger to them.

MEGRON: That is what it appears so, correct.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: OK. Again, plenty of people out here on the scene.


UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: We've been seeing folks coming out here to try to find out. They have got loved ones inside that apartment. When are you all going to be releasing names so that we know who these victims were?

MEGRON: Well, we are trying to do it as soon as possible. But, as you can see, I mean, the scene is kind of chaotic right now. So, as soon as we get some further information, we are going to disseminate it.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN REPORTER: Thank you, Carlos Megron, from Hollywood police.

Beatrice (ph), Christine (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Richard, we have the opportunity now actually to hook up via telephone with a witness to all of this.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Rocky McDonald is standing by on the phone with us.

What can you tell us?

ROCKY MCDONALD, WITNESS: Well, I wasn't an actual witness. I walked out of the elevator on my way to Publix and found a female victim laying in the lobby with what appeared to be several gunshot wounds to the chest. And, at that point, as I exited the elevator, I had three to four shots fired at me. And I hit the deck.

I laid there for a few minutes and didn't hear anything. I went over to try check the victim's vital signs and was ordered by the gunman to leave the body alone and to get the -- out of the lobby, take the stairs and go.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: What can you tell us about the suspect?

MCDONALD: White male.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Is this anyone that you have seen in the complex before?

MCDONALD: In 10 to 15 seconds of the brief look, I would know him again if I saw him, but I can't say for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Now, you were shot at, but you weren't hit?

MCDONALD: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Mr. McDonald, we heard reports that the witness (sic) was pregnant. Can you confirm that. Was it something visible?

MCDONALD: I only had a few seconds with her. All I was doing, I saw blood from the chest in several different areas. And all I wanted to do was to check her vital signs. And then I was told to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Now, when you were there on the scene, were you the very first person to approach the victim or were police already there by the time you spotted her?

MCDONALD: They were not there whenever I came out of the elevator. I know that.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Now, obviously, you are a resident there?

MCDONALD: I am sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: You are a resident at the townhouse?

MCDONALD: Yes, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: So when you stepped outside, you did see the suspect. And you mentioned that you saw the witness on the ground and that she had been shot several times.

MCDONALD: As the door opened, I saw her laying on the ground in the center of the lobby. And then I had several shots fired at me, three to four shots. And then I hit the deck. And I waited for a little bit and then heard nothing else. And I went to check her vital signs to see if she was still alive. And then that's when I was ordered to leave.

And where he was standing, the -- his weapon was pointed at me. So I decided, in my best interest, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Mr. McDonald, when you exited, how did you get out?

MCDONALD: Up the stairs up the third floor and to cross over to the elevator up to my floor.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Did you notice anyone else in the lobby?


UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Now, this has to be a very frightening experience. I mean, being shot at, witnessing what you witnessed, seeing this victim on the ground, running back up into your apartment, has anything like this happened in this type of an apartment complex before? Can you describe it for us: the type of people who live here, the kind of activity that normally goes on?

MCDONALD: Well, normally, it's a very calm and peaceful building. We've only had, since I have been here, one incident. And it was minimal. But, no, it's a very good building: very calm, very tranquil, very peaceful.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Mr. McDonald, have you had any contact yet with police?

MCDONALD: No, I just was watching your newscast. And I hear they had the suspect in custody. So now I will go down and give my statement to the police officers.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Yes, there is no doubt the police will likely want to hear from you to see what you saw.

MCDONALD: Yes, I'm sure they will.

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: And you mentioned that when you walked outside and you saw the suspect -- how close was he to the victim at that time?

MCDONALD: Describing the lobby, there is a little three steps up to a little veranda type thing inside the area. He was up there. And he was probably, at that point, maybe 30-35 feet away. That is, when I hit the deck, there were several shell casings...

UNIDENTIFIED WSVN ANCHOR: Rocky McDonald, we are going to have to interrupt you for one second, Mr. McDonald. We thank you so much for talking to us.

You are watching "7 News at Noon." We continue to follow a developing story for you, where gunshots have been fired.

KAGAN: We have listening to our coverage from our affiliate, WSVN in Miami -- this taking place in the Hollywood, Florida -- a breaking news story with a sniper apparently firing a pistol inside an apartment building in Hollywood, Florida, killing one person before police killed him. Apparently, the sniper also wounded two other people.

We'll have more on this story just ahead.



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