Real life scenario where LEO was slain.
Cop died with gun on lap; 2 teens arrested in slaying
Alfred L. Gordon, sensing trouble, was slain before he could fire.
Gary Taylor and Jim Leusner
Sentinel Staff Writers
October 7, 2007
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Alfred L. Gordon, the off-duty Orlando police officer slain after using a teller machine early Thursday, knew something was afoot, drew his weapon and died with the gun on his lap, authorities told the Orlando Sentinel on Saturday.
"The investigation has led us to determine that the officer pulled his weapon in the course of the robbery and was shot by the suspects," Orange County sheriff's Capt. Mike Miller said. "The officer did not get a shot off."
Two teenagers -- one of them barely five weeks out of prison for an armed robbery he committed at age 14 -- have been arrested in the robbery and shooting death.
Davin Smith, 19, and Hugo Terry, 17, both from South Florida but residing separately at a Pine Hills apartment complex when they were arrested before dawn Saturday, are accused of first-degree murder in Gordon's death.
The relationship between the two was not clear Saturday, and authorities aren't sure how both ended up in Central Florida. But investigators were sure Gordon wasn't their first victim in this area.
"We don't think this is the first robbery they committed together," said Sgt. Roger Brennan, an Orlando Police Department homicide investigator.
In fact, investigators think the two robbed someone in the parking lot of an apartment complex about four blocks from the Bank of America where Gordon was killed. After demanding that victim's PIN at gunpoint, they tried to withdraw $400 from an automated-teller machine with an ATM card.
They fumbled with the card at the machine for four minutes but didn't get any money, Miller said.
"They then saw the victim in line and said, 'Hey, let's do this guy,' " Miller said. "And when he went back to his vehicle, that's when they accosted him."
A bank video shows Gordon was at the ATM about 12:30 a.m. Investigators think he was confronted as he was getting back into his car about 12:34 a.m.
Terry told investigators Gordon saw Smith approaching him with a gun and began backing up, saying "No, no, no" in a deep voice, according to an arrest affidavit.
After he shot Gordon, Smith retrieved the shell casing as a souvenir, according to the report.
Gordon was shot once through his shoulder and chest, and died quickly, Miller said. The handgun found on Gordon's lap was his personal off-duty weapon, which many officers choose to carry after being certified by their agency.
Miller said the officer's wallet was found on the ground after the crime and it had his OPD identification card on the outside and his badge on the inside, leading investigators to think they knew they had just killed a cop.
"We're assuming the bad guys saw that," Miller said.
Investigators are looking at the pair for involvement in other crimes and think the gun used to killed Gordon was stolen in a burglary, Miller said.
Crimeline tips pay off
According to an arrest affidavit, an anonymous caller to Central Florida Crimeline said the suspects were trying to sell the weapon for $200. A second call, answered by Orlando police Detective Barb Bergin, detailed the location of a trash can where the gun could be found. She retrieved the weapon and turned it over to investigators.
Officials said it was hard to determine how many calls were prompted by the reward being enhanced from $5,000 to $50,000.
Crimeline's board of directors, after consulting with investigators, will determine what rewards to pay out and to whom, Bergin said.
The tips started coming in Friday morning, and by Friday evening, Crimeline had received multiple anonymous calls with leads in the case, said Bergin, Crimeline's law-enforcement coordinator.
Tipsters used the pair's street names in the calls -- "Shock" for Smith and "Yogi" for Terry.
"I was dealing with tipsters until 3 o'clock in the morning," Bergin said.
That was about when deputy sheriffs showed up at Silver Hills Apartments to take Smith and Terry into custody.
Smith answered a knock at his apartment door and was taken into custody. Terry closed his door and refused to come out.
Investigators obtained search warrants for both apartments, and Terry surrendered about 5 a.m., after a SWAT team was called out to help apprehend him.
Investigators would not say what they found when they searched the apartments.
Complex safe for kids?
Silver Hills is a modest gated complex. At first glance, the apartments, built just after the 2004 hurricanes, seem innocuous -- clusters of two-story, sand-colored buildings, neatly manicured with cornflower blue- and pink-flowered bushes.
But children playing football in the parking lot said their mothers lock them in at night, and Donta Montgomery, 12, said his mom sometimes keeps him inside even during daylight.
A teenage girl outside the building where Smith was arrested said she thinks it all was a mistake, and that Smith is really a "nice guy."
A female voice behind the door of Smith's apartment said only "bye" to reporters outside.
Across the complex, Omar Diaz, 25, said he was awakened about 3 a.m. by police shouting outside his ground-floor window. He thought he was dreaming. He said what he saw unfolding outside was like a prime-time television crime show.
At least five police cars surrounded the complex where Diaz lives with his wife and two young children.
Diaz said the officers demanded through loudspeakers: " 'Occupants of 7402 come out.' " The shouts came rapid-fire and staccato: " 'Come out with your hands up. Come out now. You're surrounded.' "
Diaz said he made his way to the edge of the sidewalk to get better a look but was waved inside by an officer on one knee pointing up at the apartment with a gun.
Through his window, Diaz said he could hear police on their walkie-talkies. " 'We see movement in the bedrooms. He's armed and dangerous.' "
Terry's apartment, at the top of a short stairway strewn with cigarette butts and blue taffy wrappers, was quiet Saturday afternoon. No one answered the door.
Orlando police Sgt. Todd Pursley, assigned to assist Gordon's family, informed them of the arrests.
"They are relieved, and they are happy," said Pursley, who was recruited to the agency by Gordon.
"He [Gordon] had so much more to look forward to, and senselessly his life was taken," Orlando police Chief Mike McCoy said. "It's the result of repeat violent offenders. It's a national problem. We've got to make prison look like a place they don't want to come back to."
Suspect new to Orlando
Smith was released from state prison Aug. 30 after serving a five-year sentence for armed robbery out of Miami-Dade County. He moved to Orlando about a month ago and was on probation.
Court-appointed attorney Gordon Murray represented Smith after he committed armed robbery at age 14. But Murray, who called from Miami on Saturday, said he didn't remember the teen.
"I don't have any independent recollection of what he did," Murray said. "In Dade County, there are lots of cases, lots of juveniles in the system."
Because Terry is a juvenile, investigators don't yet know whether he has a criminal record.
With the suspects in jail, attention now will be focused on Gordon's family, McCoy said.
A trust fund has been established to help the family with expenses, and donations can be made at any Wachovia Bank, officials said.
Erika Hobbs, Elaine Aradillas and Henry Pierson Curtis of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report. Gary Taylor can be reached at 386-571-7910 or email@example.com. Jim Leusner can be reached at 407-420-5411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.