LANTANA (CBSMiami) – Two people are dead and three others are hurt following a murder, wrong-way chase and deputy-involved shooting in Lantana.
It all started, police say, when a man shot and killed his girlfriend in a Lake Worth shopping center parking lot, then led deputies on a wrong-way chase on I-95, causing several accidents before he was shot by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy.
“Cars were running of the road and some accidents were occurring,” said Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.
Bradshaw said after the suspect shot the woman, he put her in the car with him and drove off.
Early Wednesday morning, a store clerk at My Neighborhood Grocery Store in Lake Worth says a seemingly normal couple made two separate visits to the business.
“They just come in and buy some stuff and they just left,” said the clerk, who did not want to be identified. “A half an hour later they come back and use the ATM machine.”
Little did she know, according to Palm Beach County deputies, the man in the couple was in the middle of a crime spree and about to commit another serious felony.
“Then they step out from the store and the lady got in the car and the guy was in the passenger seat,” the clerk explained.
She said she then heard what sounded like a gunshot.
“I saw the lady laying down in the front of the store,” she said.
The clerk then said the man loaded the woman into a black Nissan Rogue and drove off, but not before witnesses tried to save her.
“There was a lot of people trying to stop him, but they couldn’t,” she said.
Deputies and Florida Highway Patrol troopers pursued the suspect as he drove south in the northbound lanes of I-95, causing three separate collisions in the Lantana area between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
When police stopped his vehicle, a trooper tried to Taser him but the Taser failed, according to Sheriff Bradshaw. The deputy, fearing for his life and that of the trooper, then shot and killed the man, Bradshaw said.
The unidentified woman, who was shot in Lake Worth, was also in the car dead.
Prior to the Lake Worth shooting, the man had been involved in a West Palm Beach shooting Tuesday afternoon and another shooting in Boynton Beach early this morning.
I-95 Northbound from Lantana Rd. to 6th Avenue was closed for hours but reopened before 5 p.m. In the hours, the traffic was bumper to bumper.
A five mile stretch of I-95 northbound was shutdown as drivers were forced off the highway and had to face more tie ups on surface roads.
Araceli Labruno found herself stuck in the middle Of the Lantana traffic.
“I didn’t know what was happening but I saw a lot of police,” said Labruno.
The deputy involved in the shooting is on paid administrative leave which is standard department protocol.
Palm Beach deputies will investigating the woman’s shooting death and the three crashes on I-95.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the deputy involved shooting.