VIA: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando police confirmed that a man suspected in a deadly mass shooting in downtown Orlando has been taken into custody.
The suspect, Jason Rodriguez, 40, is a former employee of Reynolds, Smith & Hill, a construction engineering firm. A SWAT team spotted him through a window at his mother’s residence, Orlando Police Chief Val Demings said.
Rodriguez came out of the home without incident, Demings said. He is now at police headquarters.
One person is dead and 5 are confirmed shot in the attack, which took place about 11:50 a.m. at Legions Place, an office building near Interstate 4 and Ivanhoe Boulevard. The shooter used a handgun, police said.
Witnesses at the Hollowbrook Apartments, 5465 Curry Ford Road, saw the SWAT team sweep into the complex.
Yahaira Milkez, 19, has lived there about two months. She saw the suspect’s arrest from her second-floor window. He was led out wearing a striped green shirt, she said.
“I just heard screaming. They [police] said, Come out with your hands in the air.” The suspect complied calmly, she said.
“He didn’t resist.”
Marvin Higgins, who has lived at the complex for two months, said a plainclothes officer came into his building and “told me to go back into my house.”
As they brought the suspect out in handcuffs, Higgins said, “he was calm.”
After the arrest, the suspect was greeted by reporters just outside the police department’s doors.
“Why did you do it?” one television reporter asked.
“Because they left me to rot,” Rodriguez said.
He was asked if he was angry at his employer.
“No. I’m angry,” he said.
Mayor Buddy Dyer confirmed that the victims were all employees of Reynolds, Smith & Hill.
Gov. Charlie Crist stopped at Orlando Regional Medical Center to speak with some of the victims who were heading into surgery. “They said they felt very lucky and blessed to be alive,” he said.
Demings said Rodriguez appeared to shoot indiscriminately. Officers think the shooting was confined to the firm’s offices.
Ken Jacobson, a spokesperson for the company in its Florida headquarters in Jacksonville, said he had limited information but the company Chief Operating Officer David Robertson and Senior Vice President of Transportation Joe Debs left from the Jacksonville offices en route to Orlando early Friday afternoon.
People who have family members who work there can get info about loved ones by going to College Park Baptist Church, 1914 Edgewater Drive, police said.
Stephen Kerkhof, assistant chief of the Orlando Fire Department, confirmed that two of the shooting victims came out of the building on their own strength. One was found near Lake Dot, which is just north of the Amway Arena, and two others were found in the building, he said.
Three of the four victims were taken to ORMC are male, one is female, said hospital spokeswoman Katie Dagenais. All are potentially going into surgery, and are being evaluated for gunshot wounds. Thir agest range from 23 to 49 years old.
Two other victims were taken to Florida Hospital Orlando.
Steve Olson, spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation, said one of the DOTs employees, a male, was in the building on official business and was shot.
Olson would not confirm the identity of the agency employee who was shot, saying only that “He’s talked to us. He is being treated.” .
For hours after the shooting, office workers barricaded themselves inside.
“We’ve got everybody in one office, with the door barricaded with a chest of drawers. There are about 20 of us in here. We’re scared,” one woman said as she was inside the building. She asked her name and that of her business not be used because she fears for her life.
She and her office mates have since been told it was safe to leave.
Orlando police and Orange County deputy sheriffs blocked roads near the Orlando Chamber of Commerce and the Sheraton hotel. All of the businesses between Marks Road south to Colonial Drive are evacuated.