Melbourne police officer, suspicious man exchange gunfire outside home

Culprit scales wall to escape officer

Local 6: Morning News
Local 6: Morning News

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Melbourne police officer exchanged gunfire with a suspicious man outside an abandoned home.

The shooting occurred around 1 a.m. Tuesday near 824 Juanita Circle in Melbourne.

According to the Melbourne Police Department, Sgt. Brian Wical was patrolling the neighborhood when he saw a person near the rear of the boarded up home.

Wical walked up to the home to investigate and saw the man holding a handgun, police said. 

Wical yelled at the man, who fired at least one shot at the officer, police said.  Wical returned fire, but it's not known if the man was shot, according to police.  Wical was not injured.

"I heard three shots and I was concerned that the officer was hurt, but I am glad that no one got hurt," said a neighbor only identified as Cedric.

The man scaled a wall that separates the home from an apartment complex, and Wical was unable to stop him, police said.

The assailant was described as a black male in his early 20s -- or possibly late teens.  He has short hair and was wearing camouflage shorts.

Wical is an 11-year veteran with the Melbourne Police Department.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.