A Miami man, suspected of homicide, was shot and killed by police in Orlando after he fired at two officers during a traffic stop. The 28-year-old suspect, identified as Daton Viel, had taken shelter in a Holiday Inn near Universal, where he engaged in a gunfight with SWAT officers.
The incident unfolded when officers found the suspect at the hotel around 6 a.m. and evacuated the premises. Viel, who had a lengthy criminal record, barricaded himself in a room and fired multiple shots at the SWAT officers around 6:58 a.m. The officers retaliated, resulting in Viel’s death.
Another individual was initially suspected of involvement in the downtown shooting, but was later absolved of any connection. The two officers who were shot are expected to make a full recovery, according to their doctors.
Viel’s criminal past includes several charges of trespassing, sexual assault, and burglary. His most recent arrest was in Orange County on March 27, following accusations of sexually assaulting a minor. He had also been arrested in 2016, 2018, and 2019 on charges related to drugs, trespassing, burglary, and vandalism.
The incident began on Friday night when two Orlando police officers were critically injured during a traffic stop. Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith disclosed that the officers had tried to stop a vehicle linked to a Miami homicide investigation when they were shot. The suspects then carjacked another vehicle and led law enforcement on a pursuit.
The Orlando community was asked to steer clear of the area and prepare for traffic delays due to a significant police presence near Universal Orlando attractions and in downtown Orlando, at Orlando Regional Medical Center, and in Apopka.
The Orlando Police Department expressed appreciation to all the law enforcement agencies assisting with the investigation. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office also shared their support and prayers for the injured officers and their recovery.