POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami)– Authorities are investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Pompano Beach that ended with a man’s death.
It all happened near N.E. 13 Terr. and Sample Road on Thursday just before 9 a.m.
Broward Sheriff’s Deputies said they received information from the FBI and Port St. Lucie Police that a man, Charles Ziegler, 40, was wanted in connection to a bank robbery in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday and was in Pompano Beach.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said a team responded to a residence where they spotted a white Lexus. After looking up the license plate, they found it was connected to the suspect in the bank robbery.
Authorities said they observed Ziegler later driving to a business complex nearby with a woman in the car.
As deputies followed him, they had two goals in mind.
“The goal of one team was to take the suspect into custody and the goal of the other team was to make safe the woman in the vehicle,” said Israel.
As Ziegler pulled into a parking space, five deputies approached from opposite sides, took the woman out of the car and attempted to arrest him.
“We were able to get the woman out of the vehicle safely. The subject entered into a struggle with our deputies. During a portion of the struggle, he came free from their physical grasp. He reached onto the floor board of the vehicle. He produced a handgun. Four deputies fired simultaneously. Tragically, the suspect succumbed to his wounds in the vehicle, “said Israel.
Sheriff Israel said it’s not clear if Ziegler fired any shots at deputies from BSO’s VIPER unit, which stands for Violent Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response, which handled the call.
Deputies said they have no reason to believe the woman in the car with him was involved in the bank robbery. She was taken to be interviewed by investigators.
Ziegler’s aunt, Angela, told CBS4 News that her nephew, known as “Chucky,” graduated from high school in Fort Lauderdale, served in the Marines and recently worked driving trucks.
“None of us ever expected any of this,” she said. “We’re very disappointed and hurt.”
Angela Ziegler said her nephew lived for several years with an older woman who was a friend of the family.
Neighbors say Ziegler was kind to her.
“He was a good guy, taking care of the old lady over there,” said Kevin, a neighbor.
Another neighbor told us she simply could not believe that Ziegler was wanted for a bank robbery.
“He lived next door and he was always nice and sweet and helpful to anybody who needed it,” said Michelle Fitzgerald.
But this wasn’t Ziegler’s first run-in with law enforcement.
A check of prison records shows that Ziegler served nine years in a Florida prison beginning in 2002 for carjacking and aggravated battery.
The shooting unnerved the community that lives along busy Sample Road, as residents remember hearing at least ten gunshots.
And once the details came to light Thursday evening, those who knew Ziegler were forced to reassess what they thought about him.
“He was a good guy but how surprised can you be for anything nowadays?” said a nearby resident who identified himself as Kevin.
People who live nearby said they remembered hearing plenty of gunfire during the incident.
“It was like bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. It was a lot of shots,” said Monty.
“I thought it was firecrackers. I didn’t come out but then I said, I better look and see what that noise was and by the time I was here. The place was flooded everywhere. I wondered how did they get here so fast,” said Bob Casper.
Meantime, deputies are in the area asking anyone who saw anything to come forward.
“We have maybe 50 or 60 members of our agency at the scene right now…We’ll leave no stone un-turned,” said Israel.
Deputies closed down Sample Road between Dixie and Federal Highway for several hours while they investigated the scene.