LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA (CBSMiami) – Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating after a Coral Springs firefighter was found dead at a Lauderdale-by-the-Sea resort Saturday.
It’s where Gail Martin and her husband Steve are spending their vacation.
“Around 2 o’clock in the morning, I was up and I heard this pop. I don’t know what the noise was but I didn’t want to wake my husband up. Then I fell back asleep. That was all I heard,” Martin told CBS4 News.
Deputies haven’t told CBS4 News if there were signs the firefighter, identified as 39-year-old Christopher Allen Randazzo, was shot at the “Southern Seas” resort on El Mar Drive.
“There were a lot of police here around 6, 7, 8 o’clock in the morning. Nobody came and knocked on our door and asked us if we heard anything or know anything,” Martin said.
Investigators say deputies initially went to the resort for an unknown medical call around 6 Saturday morning. Since the investigation started, people who live nearby wanted to know how Randazzo died.
“I didn’t know what it was. Maybe they were setting up for speed trap or something like that. You know, something innocent,” a neighbor said.
The investigation happened is an area that’s feet away from the ocean. It attracts mostly visitors.
“It’s a fun area down there. The bars and restaurants are there. It’s a great time down there,” the neighbor said.
As for these guests from Massachusetts, who have stayed at the resort several times before, they hope deputies can get answers so they will know if they’re safe.
“Well, it’s very concerning. We are on vacation and nothing like this typically happens,” Martin said.
Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Chief Frank Babinec released a statement Sunday afternoon:
“We are saddened to hear about the untimely passing of our brother, Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Randazzo. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris’s family and friends as we grieve his passing… No matter the circumstances, it is never easy to learn of the passing of one of our own.”
According to the fire chief, Randazzo was just hired in March and he said it was his dream job.
The investigation is ongoing.