Reactions pour in after 2 Orlando officers shot, critically injured

Suspect ID’d as Daton Viel shot, killed by SWAT team

ORLANDO, Fla.Two Orlando police officers were critically injured in a shooting during a traffic stop late Friday, leading to a massive response from several law enforcement agencies.

According to Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith, the shooting happened when officers pulled over a vehicle wanted in connection to a Miami homicide case.

A suspect later identified by police as Daton Viel then carjacked a driver, leading to a vehicle pursuit and manhunt. Smith said at a Saturday briefing that Viel was later shot and killed in a shootout with SWAT officers at a hotel in the tourist district of Orlando.

Both officers were expected to make a full recovery, a doctor said at the briefing.

Several law enforcement agencies joined the manhunt, including the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Apopka police, Orlando police, Daytona Beach police and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office issued its support for the Orlando Police Department on social media.

Other current and former law enforcement officers and agencies also pledged their support and offered prayers to the wounded officers.

Former Orlando police chief Orlando Rolon expressed his sympathy for the officers, whose names have not yet been released.

“It’s a very difficult situation — a tragic situation — but not only for the Orlando Police Department, but for the community as a whole when individuals come into a community like this, our city, and injure others without any provocation,” he told News 6.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings released a statement on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, stating the county’s support of Orlando police.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a statement around 10 a.m. that he had visited the officers and their families to thank them for their service.

“Our police officers put their lives on the line every single day to keep our community safe, and tragically last night two of our officers were shot during a proactive police stop doing just that.

I visited the officers and their families this morning and thanked them for their service.

I am thankful for doctors and nurses at Orlando Health and all of those who quickly responded and are providing the essential care these officers need during this critical time.

My thoughts and prayers are with those courageous officers, their families, and our entire Orlando Police Department.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Daytona Beach police Chief Jakari Young pledged his full support and resources to the Orlando Police Department.

“Prayers up for the two Orlando police officers that were shot and critically injured in downtown,” Young tweeted.

Oviedo police tweeted their support for the Orlando police agency.

“We hope your officers make a speedy recovery. Stay Strong,” the tweet said.

Former Orlando police chief and congresswoman Val Demings offered her prayers for the officers in a statement on social media.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina tweeted that he was “sending prayers” for the wounded officers.

“We will bring the suspects to justice,” Mina said.

St. Cloud Police Chief Douglas Goerke posted that it was a “very sad day.”

“The @StCloudPD stands with our brothers and sisters at the @OrlandoPolice Department. Please keep the injured officers in your prayers and pray for the safety of all law enforcement officers involved in the search to bring these suspects to justice,” he tweeted.

Officials with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said it stands in solidarity with OPD.

“Our hearts go out to the Orlando Police Department as they deal with the aftermath of two officers being shot overnight. We stand with them in solidarity, praying for the swift recovery of the officers involved. These brave officers put their lives on the line every day, and we recognize the immense sacrifice they make. No call is ever routine, and we are grateful for their unwavering dedication and service,” SCSO posted on social media.

Titusville police said Orlando police have the love and support of the entire law enforcement profession.

“On behalf of the 160 members of the Titusville Police Department, we are praying for the recovery of the 2 Orlando Police Officers shot in the line of duty, their families, & their Orlando Police Depart. family. You have the love & support of the entire Law Enforcement profession,” Titusville police said.

Ocala police said their thoughts and prayers are also with the officers.

“Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters in the Orlando Police Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the two officers who were critically wounded, their families, and everyone at the Orlando PD,” the tweet said.

The Florida Highway Patrol asked others to join them in prayer for the wounded officers.

“The Florida Highway Patrol stands with our fellow officers at @OrlandoPolice. Our hearts go out to the two injured officers and their families. Please join us in sending prayers and strength to their entire department. We stand together,” the FHP posted.

Orange County Fire Rescue showed their support “in Public Safety” with the Orlando Police Department in a tweet.

State Rep. Darren Soto, D-District 9, said a shooter must be brought to justice, also offering his prayers for the injured officers.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said on social media to “keep these officers and Florida’s entire LEO family in your prayers.”

Before noon Saturday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted about the shooting.

@CaseyDeSantis and I are praying for the officers, their families and the entire @OrlandoPolice,” DeSantis said. “Our brave men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect. The perpetrator must face harsh justice.”

This story will be updated.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.