PORT ORANGE, Fla. - Authorities have identified a robbery suspect who was shot and killed by officers in Volusia County after they said he brandished a gun as they approached his crashed vehicle on Interstate 95 in Volusia County.
Channel 9 learned Luke Daniel Castello, 22, was a suspect in an armed robbery that happened earlier Wednesday in Daytona Beach.
"We received a call from the Daytona Beach Police Department this morning, a BOLO, be on the lookout, for a suspect in an armed robbery in a motel up in their jurisdiction, where weapons were taken and people were tied up," said Port Orange Chief Gerald M. Monahan Jr.
Authorities said the suspect was spotted in town but led officers on a chase onto I-95.
Investigators said Castello then crashed near mile marker 256 in Port Orange and then pulled out a gun as officers approached the car.
"It was our intention to stop that car without incident but that's not what happened," said Monahan. "We do pursue violent felons and that's what we did in this situation."
Authorities said the officers fired several shots, killing Castello. They did not say whether Castello fired first.
"I saw the Port Orange police pull their weapons and I heard, 'Bang, bang, bang.' It sounded like firecrackers going off," said witness Bill Compton.
Compton said he was so close he could see the smoke from the officers' guns. Compton said he believes he heard two shots fired by the suspect and possibly a dozen shots returned by officers, though investigators have not released that information.
"We don't know how many rounds were fired," said Monahan. "We don't know who fired. That's all very preliminary, and we're trying to gather that information."
"It brought back memories from being in the Marine Corps and being shot at," said Compton. It was a lot. That's the amazing thing that with the amount of gunfire that was exchanged that nobody else got hit or hurt, an officer or anybody driving down the road."
The six officers involved have all been placed on administrative leave as is customary in officer-involved shootings.
I-95 northbound was completely shut down for two hours after the incident, but by 3:30 p.m. all lane were reopened.