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FBI seeks help on case of Florida's Turnpike gunman

MIAMI -- The FBI is asking for the public's help in identifying the suspect behind the shooting of two South Florida officers on Florida's Turnpike, as the wounded cops remained hospitalized Friday.

Photos released by the FBI Friday show the armed suspect during the robbery of a Pembroke Pines barbershop shortly before the Thursday afternoon encounter on the Turnpike near Hollywood Boulevard.

Meanwhile, Key Biscayne Officer Nelia Real reamined at Memorial Regional Hospital and will remain sedated for the next week after she was shot in the neck by the gunman.


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Real will be kept sedated until doctors can establish the extent of the wounds in her neck and facial area, Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press said Thursday.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, identified Friday as Assistant Field Office Director Gabriel Martinez, was also shot in the shoulder and taken to Memorial Regional Hospital but his injuries are non-life threatening.

Martinez, a 10-year veteran with ICE in Miami, was listed in stable condition Friday.

Officers from several local, state and federal agencies spent late Thursday and early Friday visiting the wounded officers following the dramatic encounter.

Authorities say the incident began with a carjacking near 75th Street and Northwest 27th Avenue in Miami-Dade around 2:20 p.m., followed by an armed robbery at a barber shop in the 1400 block of S. Palm Avenue in Pembroke Pines.

According to FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Donovan, shots were fired during the robbery, before the suspect carjacked a second vehicle, a G-35 Infiniti, which he drove onto the Turnpike and crashed into another car.

Officials believe that after the crash, he started walking on the Turnpike looking for another car to help him get away.

Real, a 16-year veteran of the Key Biscayne department, was off duty and on her way home when she stopped to help with what she believed was just a car crash, Press said.

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After she was shot, Real was rushed to the hospital by a man believed to be with the Broward Sheriff's Office, Press said. He said Thursday that they're cautiously optimistic for her recovery.

"She may owe that officer her life. His quick action rushing her to the hospital knowing that traffic was going to be terrible and rescue getting there could have taken a long time, it was something that he felt he needed to do, and obviously she is in good hands now," Press said. Real was holding her neck and talking when she entered the emergency room.

Martinez, who works in enforcement and removal operations, was also just responding to the crash.

The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Donovan said.

A third officer, a BSO deputy from Dania Beach, was also hospitalized after she broke her leg in a separate car crash while en route to the scene.

The incident brought rush-hour traffic to a stop on the Turnpike, with numerous police vehicles on the scene just south of Exit 49, the Hollywood Boulevard exit. Traffic had been backed up to Griffin Road on the southbound side of the Turnpike, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

Some drivers and commuters stood outside their cars on the highway, unable to go anywhere, aerial footage showed.

The Turnpike was closed on the southbound side from I-595 and on the northbound side from the Miami-Dade County line, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

It finally opened up early Friday, just in time for the morning commute.

The FBI is handling the investigation into the shooting. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the FBI at 305-944-9101.

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