By Frank Fisher and Andrew Tran | Sun-Sentinel.com 2:33 PM EDT, May 2, 2008
Shooting by deputy
A car driven by suspected auto burglars ended up in a hedge in Cooper City on Friday morning. A Broward sheriff's deputy shot two of the suspects after they reportedly tried to run over the deputy while fleeing. (Sun-Sentinel/Lou Toman / May 2, 2008)
COOPER CITY - The Broward Sheriff's Office identified the two burglary suspects shot by a deputy this morning after they allegedly tried to run him over.
Miami-Dade County residents Mark Merritt, 29, and his sister, Monica Merrane Merritt, 22, were shot near the intersection of Southwest 118th Avenue and 47th Court shortly before 3 a.m., said Sheriff's Office spokesman Veda Coleman-Wright.
Their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
A third suspect, Leonard Williams, 31, also of Miami-Dade, was caught by a police dog in the area, Coleman-Wright said.
Charges against the three are pending.
The shooting happened when a sleeping off-duty deputy was woken up at home by his barking dog and spotted the suspects trying to break into vehicles, Coleman-Wright said.
The deputy called for backup units, and they quickly surrounded the suspects.
Monica Merritt attempted to drive a white 2005 Nissan Altima at a K-9 deputy, who opened fire, Coleman-Wright said.
The Merritts were hit.
The deputy's dog later tracked down Williams, whose injuries were not specified.
The two men were taken to Memorial West, while the woman was transported to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood by helicopter.
The K-9 deputy, whose name was not released, was placed on administrative leave while the shooting was being investigated.
The deputy and his police dog were not injured.
Authorities have been on a heightened state of alert in the neighborhood because it's had several overnight burglaries recently, she said.
Several burglarized vehicles were found in the area after the shooting, Coleman-Wright said.