The Latest: Sheriff: Shooting suspect dead after standoff

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Here is the latest information about a lengthy standoff and shootout at an apartment in the Florida Panhandle (all times local):

6:00 p.m.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford says the suspect in a lengthy standoff and shootout with police at an apartment in the Florida Panhandle has been found dead.

Ford says police officers used an armoured vehicle to break into the apartment in Panama City and a robot then searched the residence, confirming the man in Tuesday’s standoff was dead.

The sheriff says the standoff lasted for hours as responding police exchanging gunfire with an assailant shooting from an elevated position with a rifle. 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, and at least one person was injured.

Ford says: “We were just blessed that we didn’t lose multiple officers and citizens today.”

He says numerous rounds of gunfire were directed at law enforcement agents.

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4:15 p.m.

A sheriff’s spokeswoman in the Florida Panhandle says a suspect identified as Kevin Robert Holroyd is barricaded inside a Panama City apartment where he has exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers.

Bay County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Ruth Corley says deputies tried Tuesday to knock down the door to the apartment, but that the suspect had holed up inside and there was heavy gunfire.

Earlier, the Walton County sheriff’s department said on their official Twitter account that the standoff in Panama City was connected with the suspicious death earlier in the day of 30-year-old Clinton Street in Santa Rosa Beach. It did not elaborate. That community is about 40 miles (65 kilometres) west of Panama City along the north Florida coast.

Officials say law enforcement agents have surrounded the apartment building and exchanged heavy gunfire with the suspect Tuesday, and that at least one person has been injured.

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4 p.m.

Police surrounded an apartment building in northern Florida and exchanged heavy gunfire with a suspect barricaded inside Tuesday, and at least one person was injured, officials said.

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. 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.

One civilian suffered minor injuries, and the incident was continuing, city spokeswoman Caitlyn Lawrence said mid-afternoon.

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Irene Jensen