A man suspected of trading wild bursts of gunfire with officers during a long standoff in the Florida Panhandle was found dead Tuesday in a gasoline-soaked apartment after an armored vehicle approached, authorities said.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said at a news conference Tuesday that that the shooter, identified as 49-year-old Kevin Robert Holroyd, was found dead inside his Panama City apartment. It was not immediately clear how Holroyd died but Ford said officers heard a "muffled shot" inside the apartment before the scene went silent.
"Luckily none of the good guys were hurt," Ford said.
Police officers used an armored vehicle to break into the apartment and a robot had to be deployed to search the residence before officers could enter, finding the gunman's body.
Ford said Holroyd had "booby trapped" the apartment and doused it with gasoline. No law enforcement agents were shot or wounded but one person leaving her apartment was injured after being grazed by a bullet and left in stable condition, he said.
The sheriff described the dangerous situation that unfolded Tuesday in the tourist community as a "nightmare scenario for us."
Holroyd was wanted in connection to the death of man in nearby Walton County, Florida.
Ford said authorities responded to a 911 call reporting the smell of gas at the Briarward Apartments complex. When officers arrived, Holroyd opened fire on them with a rifle from a second floor apartment. Ford says several officers were pinned down by the gunfire for long periods of time.
Several law enforcement agents had surrounded the apartment building and exchanged heavy gunfire with the suspect.
According to Bay County Sheriff's spokeswoman Ruth Corley, deputies tried Tuesday to knock down the door to the apartment, but the suspect had barricaded the door from the inside.
Nearby businesses and schools were evacuated and several police agencies responded to the incident in Panama City, where some witnesses reported hearing more than 50 shots.
Video footage captured by a witness showed firefighters and others kneeling behind cars as heavy gunfire can be heard.
Kim Allagood, owner of a nearby pizza restaurant, said "tons and tons" of police descended on the area and she locked down her restaurant for close to two hours amid sporadic shooting.
The injured person was taken to a hospital, and while her identity was unclear, authorities said it was a civilian.
During the day Tuesday, authorities elsewhere on the Panhandle said they discovered a suspicious death in Santa Rosa Beach, a community in neighboring Walton County about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest along the Florida coast. There, they said, 30-year-old Clinton Street was shot to death — and authorities said they had connected that slaying with the Panama City standoff.