National News

Gunman at Trump Doral Golf Club in Florida Is Shot by Police

Posted May 18, 2018 5:07 p.m. EDT
Updated May 18, 2018 5:10 p.m. EDT

DORAL, Fla. — An armed man ranting against President Donald Trump opened fire on police officers early Friday at the Trump National Doral Miami Golf Club in South Florida before he was wounded and apprehended, authorities said.

Although police did not immediately describe a motive for the attack at the resort, they said the man had tried to ambush officers and had yelled “anti-Trump” rhetoric.

“We don’t know what his intentions were — long-term intentions — but we know what he was trying to do at the time, and it appears that he was trying to engage our police officers, some kind of ambush-type attack, trying to lure our police officers,” said Juan J. Perez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Perez said that the suspect, identified as Jonathan Oddi, 42, “did succeed, and he did lose” the gunfight at the hotel, which the Trump Organization owns. The hotel, in Doral, Florida, is west of Miami and about 70 miles from the Mar-a-Lago retreat that Trump has called the “Winter White House.”

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

Authorities said they believed Oddi, who was shot and taken to a hospital, had acted alone in the episode, which federal, state and local law enforcement officials were reviewing Friday. Doral police said there was “no further threat” at the club. One officer suffered a broken wrist.

Investigators were still piecing together how Oddi entered the Trump complex in the first place, but Perez said officials believed that the suspect had removed an American flag from a pole on the property and brought it into the hotel’s marble-floored lobby at about 1:30 a.m. He draped the flag over the counter, Perez said, and began yelling about Trump.

Oddi, who is also believed to have pulled the club’s fire alarm, soon fired a handgun toward the roof and chandeliers, and officers “immediately went in and neutralized him,” Perez said. Five officers ultimately returned fire, the director said.

Oddi’s defense attorney, Rae Shearn, said it was “too premature” to speculate on his actions.

“We’re looking into all possibilities: What may have prompted this incident, what may have occurred during the incident,” she said.

Oddi lives in a luxury apartment development in Doral less than a mile and a half from Trump National. A friend of his, Luis David Gonzalez, approached Oddi’s apartment Friday morning, carrying a breakfast of eggs and coffee for his friend.

Gonzalez said he was worried about Oddi, a seven-day-a-week regular at the local LA Fitness gym, having not seen him Friday morning. Gonzalez was greeted by reporters who informed him his friend had been arrested.

“I’m in shock,” Gonzalez said.

He said Oddi lived alone with his dog, Popo, and worked as a dancer. Gonzalez said he last saw Oddi on Thursday, at Oddi’s apartment. “He was good,” he said.

Oddi did not discuss his political views, Gonzalez said, adding that he did not know if his friend owned a gun.

The Trump Organization bought the golf resort, formerly known as the Doral Resort and Spa, in 2012. The club, one of 11 hotels the Trump Organization lists in its worldwide portfolio, has four golf courses, including its crown jewel, the Blue Monster at Doral.

Properties tied to Trump have drawn protests against his presidency, and some demonstrations have led to arrests. Last May, authorities in Washington said they arrested a man after finding both a rifle and a handgun in his vehicle at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.

After sunrise Friday morning in Florida, police cruisers and uniformed officers blocked the entrance to the club, a long driveway lined with palm trees and manicured landscaping.

Several hotel guests huddled down the driveway, at the busy intersection of Northwest 41st Street and Galloway Road, waiting for their rides since drivers were not being let into the property. Some had their carry-on luggage in hand and were en route to the airport.

Gordon Olsen, a hotel guest in town on business from New Jersey, said he found out what had happened at the Doral property when he received a text message from someone checking on his well-being.

He planned to remain a guest at the hotel. “They have him in custody,” he said of the gunman.

But, Olsen added: “I’m wondering if maybe you can’t stay at Trump properties anymore.”