Florida police officer fired nine times in accidental killing

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 20, 2014 4:55 PM

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida police officer who fatally shot an innocent bystander fired his weapon nine times during a confrontation with an armed man at the entrance of a bar, authorities reported on Wednesday.

Maria Godinez, 22, was accidentally killed early Tuesday by a stray bullet while socializing inside the Vixen Bar in downtown Orlando, police reported.

The officer, Eduardo Sanguino, fired the shots from outside the bar where he was trying to subdue a man carrying a gun.

Only later did police realize the man's gun was unloaded.

Kody Roach, 23, had been thrown out of the bar earlier for displaying a gun. Witnesses said he was banging on the bar door with the gun and trying to get back in, according to the arrest affidavit.

Several of Sanguino’s bullets struck Roach. Police Lt. Frank Nunez, who was at the scene, also was hit once in the leg, authorities said.

Roach and Nunez were treated for their injuries at a hospital.

Roach was charged with carrying a concealed firearm. Police say Roach’s .40 caliber Ruger pistol fell onto the ground after he was shot. The gun, which was stolen, was functional but unloaded.

No ammunition was found in the chamber or magazine, the affidavit states.

Facebook postings indicate that Godinez, who also used the last name Castillo, was born in Guatemala City and lived in Cocoa, Florida, an hour east of Orlando.

Her cousin told the Orlando Sentinel that Godinez had been spending a girls’ weekend in Orlando, visiting theme parks and a downtown entertainment zone.

Sanguino and another Orlando police officer, Jeff Angel, who initially attempted unsuccessfully to subdue Roach with a Taser, were placed on paid administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the use of force.

(Editing by Letitia Stein and Eric Walsh)