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Fox News
Fox News
5 Aug 2023


The suspect who shot and critically injured two Orlando Police officers Friday night is dead after a hotel standoff with a SWAT team near Universal Orlando. 

Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith gave an update on the shooting at a press conference Saturday afternoon, identifying the suspect as 28-year-old Daton Viel, who had an extensive criminal history. A second suspect in the shooting was determined by police not to be involved.

Smith said police worked throughout the night to locate the suspect after two officers were shot during a traffic stop at 11 p.m. Friday. The suspect's vehicle was believed to be connected to a homicide investigation in Miami. 

Following the shooting, the suspect carjacked another vehicle and a vehicle pursuit ensued, according to a statement released from the Orlando Police Department. 

ORLANDO POLICE OFFICERS IN CRITICAL CONDITION FOLLOWING SHOOTING

Mugshot of Daton Viel

Daton Viel, 28, was identified as the dead suspect who shot and critically injured two Orlando Police officers during a traffic stop Friday night.  (Orlando Police Department)

Smith said police launched an "extensive search" and tracked the suspect to a Holiday Inn in the 5900 block of Caravan Court, across the street from Universal Orlando. A SWAT team was called to the location at 6 a.m. Saturday, and the hotel was safely evacuated. 

Viel barricaded himself inside a room and refused to surrender despite multiple attempts by police to persuade him to give up. 

At 8:58 a.m., the suspect opened fire on SWAT officers "multiple times," according to Smith. Police returned fire and hit the suspect, killing him.  

TEMPLE POLICE SHOOTING SUSPECT SHOT OFFICER 3 MORE TIMES AS COP LAY ON GROUND WITH HEAD WOUND: OFFICIALS

Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith press conference

Smith held a press conference at 12:30 p.m. Saturday to give an update on the investigation into the shooting of two Orlando Police officers. Smith said the suspect was killed in a standoff with SWAT officers at a Holiday Inn hotel near Universal Studios Saturday morning.  (WOFL)

Viel was previously identified as a suspect in a sexual assault case involving a 14-year-old girl. In December 2022, he was charged with sexual battery, lewd or lascivious molestation and lewd or lascivious exhibition, according to the Orlando Police Department.

"I want to thank Orlando Health and all law enforcement agencies who have helped us throughout the night. I also want to thank everyone from our community who have been sharing information and support for our department," Smith said. "Our officers are lucky to be alive. We ask that you continue to pray for them." 

An official from Orlando Health said the injured officers are alive and now with their families. They are expected to make full recoveries. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday he and first lady Casey DeSantis were praying for the officers and their families. 

FLORIDA WOMAN ALLEGEDLY LINKED TO DAYTONA BEACH QUADRUPLE SHOOTING ARRESTED

Orlando PD at Poppy Park shooting

Orlando Police units on the scene of the deadly shooting at Poppy Park Easter evening. (FOX 35 Orlando)

"Our brave men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect," DeSantis tweeted. "The perpetrator must face harsh justice." 

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer spoke earlier at the news conference and thanked the officers and their families for "their service and dedication to our city." 

"They put their lives on the line every single day to keep our community safe," Dyer said. "And I also want to thank the doctors and the nurses here at Orlando Health and all those who quickly responded and provided essential care to the officers at this critical time. So, our entire community's thoughts and prayers remain with those courageous officers, their families and our entire OPD during this difficult time." 

Fox News' Christina Shaw contributed to this report.

Chris Pandolfo is a writer for Fox News Digital. Send tips to chris.pandolfo@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @ChrisCPandolfo.