ORLANDO, Fla. - Saying it's been "a murderous 12 hours or so in Orange County," Sheriff Jerry Demings addressed a triple shooting that unfolded at two hotels in the tourist district of Orlando and left two women dead.
A third woman was shot and injured in the domestic incident, according to officials, who said the gunman was later found dead after apparently shooting himself while fleeing deputies.
Two 28-year-old women, including the gunman's estranged girlfriend, were shot just before 8 a.m. Thursday at the Quality Suites at 7400 Canada Ave. near International Drive. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the girlfriend worked at the hotel and was behind a counter when she sustained injuries to her upper body and head. It's not known if the other woman was employed at the hotel.
The women, whose names have not been released, were taken to Dr. Phillips Hospital and pronounced dead, deputies said.
The gunman then went to the Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa at 10000 Turkey Lake Road, about 2.5 miles from the other hotel, and shot his estranged girlfriend's 31-year-old friend, Demings said. Deputies initially said the woman was shot and killed but later said she was in critical condition.
Deputies located a car in Pine Hills connected to the gunman, and a brief, slow-speed pursuit ended near Powers Drive and Sunshine Street, Demings said.
"As a deputy was approaching the suspect's car, he observed the individual with what appeared to be a handgun, saw a flash, and the car crashed into tree (and caught fire)," said Demings, who added that the 33-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Demings said deputies served a domestic violence injunction to the man Wednesday night in connection with incidents in Osceola and Orange counties. In one of the cases, the man tried to run over his estranged girlfriend with a vehicle, Demings said.
"It does stem from a relationship gone bad," Demings said. "A child is involved, but the child is in good health."
An investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, a woman working at a Chinese restaurant in Orlando was shot and killed Wednesday night during a robbery.
The shooting happened just before 8:30 p.m. when a masked gunman stormed into the China Wok restaurant on Silver Star Road near Pine Hills Road. Orange County deputies continue to search for the gunman.