ORLANDO, Fla. — An innocent bystander was shot and killed by a stray police bullet during a confrontation with a man carrying a gun at the entrance of a bar, Orlando police officials said today.
Maria Godinez, 22, died early this morning after multiple gunshots were fired as three police officers tried to stop the man from entering the Vixen Bar in downtown Orlando, authorities said.
“The Orlando Police Department is committed to a full investigation to understand how this tragedy happened,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters.
Police also shot the armed suspect, Kodi Roach, who was treated for multiple wounds at a hospital, Mina said.
Roach did not appear to have fired his weapon, Mina said.
One of the officers, Lt. Frank Nunez, was shot in the leg.
Roach was in stable condition at a hospital, facing charges of carrying a concealed firearm. He could be charged later with felony murder, because someone was killed as he committed a crime, Mina said.
The wounded officer, Nunez, was treated at a hospital and released.
Two other officers involved, Eduardo Sanguino and Jeff Angel, have been placed on paid administrative leave as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates, Mina said.
He said preliminary reports showed that a bullet from Sanguino's firearm struck the woman.
A witness working across the street from the bar described the altercation in a Facebook post.
“I see this guy thrown out of the club and the door slammed in his face. He proceeds to bang on the door of the club using his gun,” Kane Lee wrote.
Two officers then arrived on bicycles, according to Lee.
“We shouted out to them that he had a gun and they flew off their bikes and told him 10 times to get on the ground and he wouldn't so they tased him but he still stood there and then this man reached for his gun and as soon as he did, the cops shot him till he fell,” Lee wrote.