Officers kill armed man, hostage at Florida motel; he fired first, police say |

Officers kill armed man, hostage at Florida motel; he fired first, police say

TAMPA, Fla. – Police officers shot and killed a man and the woman he was holding hostage early Friday after he fired a sawed-off shotgun at them, police said.Tampa police Chief Stephen Hogue said the officers had been forced to return fire to defend themselves.”It developed very quickly, and the suspect forced the issue by coming out of the room with the hostage and shooting at police,” Hogue said at a news conference.Officers saw the armed man and the hostage inside a room at the Luxury Motel, police spokesman Laura McElroy said. They heard two gunshots, and minutes later, the man came out of the room with the woman.”He has the woman in a headlock with the gun pointed at her head,” McElroy said. “He spots an officer to his right, levels the shotgun at the officer and fires at the officer.”Officers shot at Gary T. Brewer, killing him and wounding 33-year-old Tracy Mary Wood, McElroy said. Wood died at a hospital hours later.Police are still trying to determine how many times Brewer, 45, was shot. He had more than 10 bullet wounds, but some might be exit wounds, Hogue said. The woman was shot “several times,” he said.Hogue called the woman’s death tragic, “tantamount to a police officer getting killed.”The four officers, all veterans with at least 10 years experience, were put on administrative leave pending an investigation. None was injured.The SWAT team and a hostage negotiator had been called but hadn’t arrived by the time the shooting started, Hogue said.Shortly before the shootings, Brewer had held another woman, his girlfriend, hostage at her condominium for more than seven hours beginning late Thursday, McElroy said. She broke away and called police, but Brewer fled before officers arrived. The girlfriend told police he had used crack cocaine throughout the night.Investigators were still trying to determine how Brewer knew Wood, who had lived with her boyfriend at the $35-a-night Luxury Motel for several years.The first gunshots inside the motel room hit the woman’s mixed-breed dog, which later died.Vail, Colorado

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