ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - It was a chaotic scene in the heart of Downtown Orlando on Wednesday, as police swarmed the area around lunch time, blocking off streets.
Investigators said a man was shot by Orlando police officers at Hughey and South streets, right across from the Amway Center, around 11 a.m.
Investigators said the man, later identified as 48-year-old Qawi A. Muhammad, had gone into the Wahlburgers restaurant at the corner of Church Street and Orange Avenue, violating a domestic violence injunction against him. He was said to be looking for an employee who he was prohibited from seeing.
"He brandished a handgun, and he left the restaurant and fled west on Church Street," explained Deputy Chief Eric Smith,
There were no customers inside, but workers in the restaurant who had just clocked in for the day called 911, and some followed the suspect telling officers where he was going.
"They gave details, they gave specifics, location," said Wahlburgers spokesperson Kimberly Simeone of the employees. "They were incredible, and we couldn't be more proud."
Officers said when they caught up with the man, they told him to drop his weapon.
"He ignored those verbal commands," said Deputy Chief Smith. "The officers were forced to discharge their issued service weapons, striking the suspect."
The suspect was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased. The officers were not injured, and are on administrative leave as per standard procedure.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating, as they do with all officer-involved shootings. Once the investigation is complete, FDLE will turn its findings over to the State Attorney's Office and a determination is made there about whether any laws were violated.
After that determination is made by the State Attorney's Office, the Orlando Police Department's internal investigation will determine whether any policy violations have occurred.