FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – One man is dead, a Broward Sheriff’s deputy injured after a shoot out in the parking lot of an Oakland Park motel.
Just after midnight, deputies with the sheriff office’s Fugitive Squad, along with Ft. Lauderdale police officers and U.S. Marshals, converged on the Days Inn at 1595 W Oakland Park Boulevard to take 27-year old Henry Kiner into custody.
Kiner was the prime suspect in a murder earlier this year.
When the officers arrived, Kiner reportedly came out of a room on the second floor armed with a shot gun.
“The suspect came out and started firing shots at the law enforcement officers. Fortunately no law enforcement officers were struck by gunfire. They did return gunfire. The suspect was pronounced dead on the scene,” said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said he’s thankful that none of the seven officers involved in the shooting, or anyone else, was serious hurt.
““Certainly this man firing the shotgun could have missed and hit anybody driving up and down Oakland Park Boulevard,” said Israel. “So they entered the gravest of grave situations.”
“It was a terrifying experience,” said hotel guest Eric Cooper. “When we heard gunshots being fired; that’s when I told my family to get down, to get down on the ground.”
Other guests described a similar frightening scene.
“Like a cannon. Boom. Boom. And it wouldn’t stop,” said guest Renee Jenkins. “I ran and got in the tub, jumped in and it kept going. Bam, bam, bam and I was like oh my God what is this?”
“Chris,” who was in the parking lot, dove for cover between two cars for cover.
“The bullet was like 6 inches away from me, so I’m llucky I’m still here,” said Chris.
A deputy who hurt his arm during the shoot out was taken to Broward Health Medical Center where he was treated and released.
A man staying in the room next to Kiner was shot in the arm. He was also taken to the hospital.
“I was terrified, terrified, honestly terrified,” said Sean Baker who was visiting from Jamaica.
Baker was one floor above and one room over from Kiner’s room. He was in his room with his 8-year old daughter when the bullets began flying feet below him.
“I heard it go ‘bang, bang, bang’ after that, I looked out and I saw the police. That’s when I took my daughter off the bed and threw her on the floor,” said Baker.
Baker’s daughter, Tiana, was petrified as she huddled on the floor.
“I was thinking I was going to die,” said Tiana.
Kiner was the prime suspect in the murder of Corey Pratt on August 11th. Pratt’s mom said she was thrilled that Kiner could no longer hurt anyone.
“He didn’t need to be on the street. He was dangerous to society. He didn’t need to be on the streets, he really didn’t,” said Pratt. “Corey can rest in peace.”
The sheriff’s office said Kiner was very dangerous because he thought he had nothing to lose. His mother reportedly told deputies he was determined to skirt the law.
“She said her son had told her that there is no way her son was going back to prison, so we were dealing with a very, very violent situation last evening,” said Israel.
The investigation into the shooting shut down Oakland Park Boulevard near I-95 for almost 12 hours. Crime scene investigators towed away a pickup truck and a Toyota sedan, but officials haven’t said how they were related to the shootout.
Cooper said that he would return to South Florida despite the shooting and was thankful he and his family were in their room when the bullets started flying.
BSO hasn’t identified which officers were involved in the shootout.