ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando police officer was forced to fire his weapon at a car carrying suspects in a fatal shooting outside a nightclub early Sunday morning, according to police.
Police said Officer Robert Schellhorn, who was off duty officer working security, entered the Whiskey River Lounge on North Orange Blossom Trail just before 2 a.m. when a witness reported a shooting in the parking lot.
The witness alerted the officer to a suspect vehicle that immediately accelerated toward the officer, forcing him to draw his weapon and fire, officers said.
“The suspects immediately accelerated toward the officer, trying to run him over. The officer did discharge his service weapon,” said Sgt. Jim Young, with the Orlando Police Department.
The officer was able to avoid being hit as the suspects sped away.
Reports said that a passenger jumped out of the speeding car and ran away on Orange Blossom Trail.
The vehicle was later found unoccupied near the intersection of John Young Parkway and Orange Center Boulevard with guns inside, according to police.
“Inside that vehicle there were some guns located, however, no suspects have been located at this time,” Young said.
Around 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, police identified the victim as 21-year-old Thomas Lamar McCrimon.
He was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.
“I heard gunshots and all I could do was run back,” said bar patron Celonica Melton. “The news people had beat the ambulance.”
State records show McCrimon was a convicted felon who served prison time as a teenager.
He had since been arrested for several violent crimes.
Schellhorn has been an officer with the Orlando Police Department since 2004.
The suspects have not been located.
Police are investigating the shooting as a homicide.
Per standard procedure, the officer will be placed on administrative leave as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the officer-involved shooting.
Police ask anyone with information regarding the homicide to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.