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Man who opened fire at Trump National golf course shot in police firefight

The suspect who was involved in a shooting at Trump National Resort was taken to the hospital. (CBS TV/Screen Shot)

A man who fired shots to bring police to the Trump National Doral golf course and resort early Friday was disabled by five officers who shot him in his legs, a police chief said.

The resort is in northwest Miami-Dade County. It is owned by President Donald Trump’s privately held company; he was not on the premises during the 1:30 a.m. incident.

Arrested was Jonathan Oddi, 42, a Doral resident who was hospitalized in stable condition. The only other reported injury was to a Doral police officer who broke his wrist.

A police chief said officers were called after Oddi pointed a handgun at staff and began firing.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said Oddi appparently wanted to “engage our police officers, some type of ambush type attack, trying to lure our police officers.”

One officer from Miami-Dade police and four officers from Doral Police raced to the hotel at Northwest 36th Street and 87th Avenue and all exchanged gunfire with Oddi, Perez said.

“He did succeed, and he did lose,” Perez said. “That’s the bottom line.”

The two police agencies train together and Perez credited that collaboration with a prompt end to the threat. No hotel employees or guests were hurt.

“If not for the heroic efforts of the police officers that responded here today, this individual would have caused a lot of harm,” Perez said. “And he was not able to do that.”

Oddi’s intentions beyond wanting to start a gunfight were not known, Perez said.

Rae Shearn, a criminal defense attorney and former chief state prosecutor, said she is representing Oddi.

“It’s too premature to say what’s going on,” Shearn said. “I don’t have all the facts. I don’t know what could have precipitated the event and I don’t know what happened during the event. We’re investigating and should have a clearer picture sometime next week.”

Before the shooting began, Oddi removed an American flag from a pole at the rear of the complex, brought it into the hotel lobby and draped it over a counter, Perez said. Oddi then began to yell out “anti-Trump, President Trump rhetoric.”

What Oddi said was not yet known.

“As he did that, he waited for our police officers,” Perez said. “He did begin to shoot inside the lobby which prompted calls and curiosity from some of the people in the lobby. They were met with an individual with a handgun, who pointed it at them and proceeded to fire it into the roof and chandeliers of the hotel.

“He waited for our police officers in the front lobby to engage them,” Perez said. “Our officers came up, engaged in practiced protocol and training, immediately went in and neutralized him.”

The incident was recorded on video that Perez said would not be released right away.

Television news recorded a man in a T-shirt, handcuffed and barefoot on a gurney as Miami-Dade Fire Rescue wheeled him into Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami.

Oddi received multiple wounds to his legs from the gunfire, Perez said.

Outside of Oddi’s Doral apartment, Luis David Gonzalez was bringing his gym buddy breakfast, unaware that he was in custody and accused of causing mayhem at the resort.

“He’s a regular guy,” Gonzalez said about his friend of more than a decade. “I’m surprised he did that.”

Asked if Oddi was angry about the president, the government or talked about weapons, he said “No.”

“Why he should have opinions about Trump?” Gonzalez said. “He’s the president of the United States. He’s the right guy for the job. We just talk about the gym, that’s it.”

The two men work out seven days a week at an L.A. Fitness. Oddi was born in South Africa and grew up in Argentina, where his family lives, according to Gonzalez.

“He got me in shape,” Gonzalez said about Oddi. He described his friend as an entertainer and dancer but would not say where he performed.

Oddi didn’t want to go to the gym Thursday and stayed home with his dog, Bobo. Gonzalez said Friday he was checking up on him and brought him eggs and coffee.

“Yesterday he was feeling bad,” Gonzalez said, declining to elaborate further.

“He told me he was feeling bad, that’s what he told me, but I never thought he was gonna do something like that,” Gonzalez said. “Basically I cannot discuss what’s wrong with him. I’m just his friend.”

Shearn, Oddi’s lawyer, said she could confirm only that he was interested in body building and body sculpting.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the shootings by the officers, which is a standard practice. Miami-Dade police along with the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI are investigating Oddi’s motives and whether his actions are connected to any federal investigations. Perez said that so far, the incident was not considered an act of terrorism.

Investigators were awaiting a search warrant to go into Oddi’s Doral home. They had to make sure there were no booby traps in his residence or car and briefly removed other residents from their homes for their safety, Perez said.

Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez praised Perez and Doral Police Chief Hernan Organvidez for having their departments train together.

“This response was seamless,” Bermudez said. “Luckily no employees and none of the individuals staying at the hotel had any injuries of any kind. I also want to send out our regards to our police officer who injured his wrist and is recuperating.

“We are a very safe community so normally I don’t have to do this very often,” Bermudez said.

After the shooting, Eric Trump, a son of the president, tweeted his thanks to the Doral and Miami-Dade police departments.

“Every day they keep our community safe. We are very grateful to you,” the posting said.

The golf resort previously known as the Doral Resort & Spa was purchased by the Trump Organization in 2012. Its signature course is known as the Blue Monster.

The resort has an expansive clubhouse and spa and is among the largest hotels in the Miami suburb that is about 8 miles from Miami International Airport.

Its website describes it as an 800-acre resort with 643 guest rooms, more than 100,000 square feet of event space and four golf courses.

In June 2016, the PGA Tour announced that the prestigious World Golf Championship that had been held there since 2007 would relocate to Mexico. The announcement infuriated then-candidate Trump, who called the move to Mexico a “sad day for Miami, the United States and the game of golf.” Trump said in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, “I hope they have kidnapping insurance.”


© 2018 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.