Gangapersad Ramroop (Photo via Orange County Corrections)
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
An innocent motorist was killed at an Orlando intersection in the early morning hours of the Fourth of July by a man police say was shooting at them.
Gangapersad Ramroop, 23, is facing six charges, including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
Just before 4 a.m. near the intersection of West Colonial Drive and Powers Drive, Orlando Police said officers tried to pull over a green 2000 Honda Civic for a suspected traffic infraction.
"As the officer tried to pull in behind the vehicle to initiate a traffic stop, he had not yet initiated his lights or his siren, but the suspect inside that vehicle opened fire on the officer," Cpl. Dave Allmond said. "As the suspect was doing that, he proceeded through the intersection and was involved in a traffic crash."
The Civic ran through the red light at Powers and struck the left side of a silver 2007 Mazda SUV crossing the intersection, pushing it into a pole.
The driver of the SUV, Robert Hunter, 25, of Orlando, was ejected and died at the scene. The passenger, Wilgue Pierre, 26, of Orlando, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for serious injuries.
At the same time, a bicyclist riding home was at the intersection and was nearly struck. Deondre Mercer, 22, of Orlando said he heard a bang and leaped off his bike just before it was struck by the SUV.
"From the moment I crossed the intersection, I looked over and saw the cars hit each other. I saw the car come behind me and I hopped off the bike. It happened so quickly," Mercer said.
"I landed on the road. I've got some scrapes and bruises, but that's it. I got lucky this time," he said.
Allmond said they found evidence of the shooting inside Ramroop's vehicle.
"I do not know what type of weapon particularly was involved, but I do know we have recovered that weapon," Allmond said.
Ramroop suffered minor injuries and was also taken to ORMC. Police say he will be charged with attempted murder on a law enforcement officer. Other charges are pending.
The Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash, and more charges could be coming for Ramroop.