An armed man who barricaded himself inside a Panama City, Florida, apartment complex on Tuesday, May 22, was found dead by authorities, officials said in a news conference.
The suspect, identified as Kevin Holroyd, 49, fired multiple rounds at officers from a second-floor apartment before he was found dead inside, Tommy Ford, sheriff of Bay County where Panama City is located, told a news conference.
“We’re just blessed that we didn’t lose multiple officers and citizens today,” Ford said.
Another complex resident sustained a minor injury.
Holroyd was wanted in connection with a homicide investigation in nearby Walton County, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.
The homicide victim, 30-year-old Clinton Street, died from multiple gunshot wounds before 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Walton County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Corey Dobridnia said in a phone interview.
The homicide and active shooter incident were related, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter.
Fire officials received a 911 call about a gas smell at the apartment complex, Ford said.
Officials tried to contact the suspect, who officials believe lived at the complex, but he would not come to the door and began firing from the apartment with a rifle, the sheriff said.
“Law enforcement officer’s worst nightmare. Very difficult tactical situation,” Ford said, referring to shots being fired from an elevated position. “Luckily none of the good guys were hurt.”
Some officers, who were fired upon numerous times by the suspect, were unable to move from behind vehicles because they would have been shot, Ford said.
There was a volley of gunfire as multiple law enforcement officers returned fire and officials heard a muffled shot inside the residence, Ford said.
A resident of the complex exiting her apartment because of the gas call was struck by gunfire and is in stable condition, officials said. She had a minor wound on her shoulder.
Numerous people were trapped in their apartments, Ford said. Armored vehicles and SWAT team members were used to rescue them.
Ford declined to say more about Holroyd’s death or gunshot wounds, saying that circumstances were unclear and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating. Officials also declined comment on a motive.
Gasoline was poured inside the residence and officials believe he attempted to light a flare before finding him dead, Ford said. Authorities used explosives to gain entry.
Panama City is located on Florida’s panhandle about 80 miles west of Tallahassee.
By Suzannah Gonzales