MELBOURNE, Fla. - A robbery suspect was shot and killed by Melbourne police officers Monday morning.
Matthew McDaniel, 35, was shot outside a Burger King restaurant by police who had him under surveillance, according to Melbourne Police Chief Steve Mimbs.
"These are split second decisions that are made and then we look later and piece it together," Mimbs said.
Mimbs said that during the surveillance operation, McDaniel pulled out a gun on undercover officers, who then shot him.
Police said Mimbs was being followed by officers after he was caught on cameras committing robberies around Melbourne and in Brevard County.
Investigators said the alleged crime spree started at a CVS Pharmacy a week ago, and
since that time, they have connected him to at least five robberies. They said McDaniel didn't try to hide his face in those robberies.
According to investigators,
they believe McDaniel robbed two gas stations in Melbourne and two other Brevard County businesses.
"Looking at the video, our detectives were able to identify a suspect and link that suspect to the other robberies," Cmdr. Dan Lynch, of the Melbourne Police Department, said.
Police said they believe McDaniel may have been planning to rob the Burger King when
they confronted him. They had a warrant for his arrest.
"He attempted to flee in his vehicle, but his exit was blocked by the officers converging on him," Mimbs said. "At that point, he produced a hand gun, and the officers were forced to take his life."
Channel 9 discovered that McDaniel has arrest records in Brevard County and Jacksonville. He has been arrested on charges that include theft, battery and fraud.
A clerk at one store told Channel 9's Karla Ray that the man who robbed the store, believed to be McDaniel, was apologetic as he held the cashier at gunpoint.
Six Melbourne police officers are on leave while the the incident is under investigation, police said.