SANFORD, Fla. – A murder suspect believed to have killed a woman whose body was found along a Volusia County trail was injured in a shoot out with Seminole County deputies at a laundromat in Sanford on Wednesday, authorities said.
The shooting took place Wednesday afternoon at a laundromat near U.S. Highway 17-92 and 22nd Street as deputies approached Brandon McLean, who was driving the victim’s recently leased 2021 Volkswagen Jetta, according to Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma.
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“Through technology (tag readers), we were able to determine that that vehicle was on the move in Volusia County last night, after we found her body, and was in close proximity to crime scene at 9:30 this morning,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.
Lemma said once his deputies were notified that McLean was in Sanford, investigators who deal with fugitive apprehension began conducting surveillance and spotted McLean with another man.
“Those three investigators and detectives swarmed in, in an attempt to speak to the individuals, they were standing at the Volkswagen, the decedent’s car that’s parked on the side, and one of our investigative units pulled their car in to conduct a blocking in technique so the suspect vehicle cannot pull away. Another one of our sheriff’s office vehicles came in to offer assistance. That’s the vehicle that slowly slid into the tree and it’s crashed there next to the tree,” Lemma said.
Records show both men fled at first but the second man quickly laid on the ground to surrender. He’s not believed to be connected to the murder at this time and is not currently facing criminal charges, though he is being interviewed.
Authorities said McLean ran around the corner of the laundromat as deputies were chasing him and pulled out a gun and pointed it at them. It’s unclear if he fired.
“We know at least our deputies, at least two of our deputies, fired multiple shots at the time, we think anywhere from six to 10 shots that are on the ground,” Lemma said.
Breaking***SCSO working a shooting incident just west of 17/92 and 22nd St. All suspects accounted for. Sheriff Lemma anticipating a 5pm update.— Seminole County S.O. (@SeminoleSO) April 21, 2021
According to authorities, McLean wasn’t hit that time and continued running and jumped a fence into a residential area where he continued running between houses.
The sheriff said deputies fired a second time as the chase continued.
“At least two eyewitnesses at one time said that (McLean) was firing at the deputies that were standing without cover, quite literally in the middle of the street. The deputies then again returned fire at that location, striking the suspect at least five times,” Lemma said.
After the shooting, records show the deputies knocked down a fence so they could get to McLean and render aid by applying a tourniquet. He was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital, where he is intubated and in stable condition.
No deputies were injured. Lemma said given that the shooting was in a busy area, he’s glad no one else was injured.
Nearby Sanford Middle School was placed on code yellow, meaning the school was locked down as a precautionary measure while normal activities and classroom instruction took place. The school is about half a mile from the scene.
“As the deputies are running after this, without any concerns of their own personal safety, what’s going through their mind is knowing the capability of this individual if he’s able to escape justice. We already know what it looks like he did in Volusia County. So, quite literally, they’re in the heat of the moment. I’m incredibly proud of what they have done. And I tell you this is the situation that really makes us so grateful to have people that will put their lives on the line to protect the freedom of innocent bystanders and that’s exactly what they did today,” Lemma said.
He added that McLean was released from prison about six weeks ago on a nine-year sentence and has a lengthy criminal history.
According to the sheriff, a pocket knife, the victim’s car keys, the victim’s driver’s license, a magazine and a semi-automatic extended magazine were found at the shooting scene in Sanford.
Lemma said the investigation will determine whether that knife was the same one used to stab the woman who was in Volusia County.
Volusia County deputies said a passerby discovered the woman’s body Tuesday night around 7 p.m. along the trail off Osteen Maytown Road. The woman had been stabbed and slashed multiple times, sheriff’s officials said.
The caller told the 911 dispatcher that the woman’s body was not on the trail when he started walking on it.
“It’s awful,” he said after describing cuts on the woman’s body and blood.
Deputies said the victim is Amy Desiree Layne Humphries, 28, of Orange City with no criminal background.
Investigators believe the victim’s body was dumped on the trail, but that she was killed somewhere else, according to Chitwood. The sheriff said the woman suffered wounds from her knees to the top of her head.
“I can tell you that the wounds that she suffered were -- a deep passion inflicted those wounds,” Chitwood said. He later added Humphries was not attacked randomly and he believes she is connected to her killer in some way.
Volusia sheriff’s deputies were not involved in the Sanford shooting but are assisting in the investigation, officials said.
Sky 6 video showed the laundromat blocked off with police tape.
The Sanford Police Department said it is also assisting the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office with an investigation.
No other details have been released.
Update: We're on the scene of a shooting incident in Sanford involving a suspect vehicle in last night’s death investigation in Osteen.— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) April 21, 2021
Volusia deputies were not involved in the shooting, but are assisting in the investigation. https://t.co/MNa5FKImEK
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.