Deputies ID Seminole County homicide suspect shot near Sam’s Club


A Seminole County homicide suspect who was shot Thursday after aiming his fingers – like a gun – toward local deputies was identified as Ahmed Raslan, officials said. Raslan, 38, remained at a Fort Pierce hospital Friday in stable condition, Indian River County sheriff’s officials said.

“This is a really bad guy who conducted a heinous murder in Seminole County at a mosque,” Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said in a Friday video update. “Our entire team did exactly what they were trained to do. Our technology alerted us that he was in our county. Our folks are heroes for getting this murderer off of our streets.”

Raslan was arrested while at the hospital on a warrant for premeditated first-degree murder, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office booking reports show. Indian River and Seminole County detectives spoke to Raslan at HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital in Fort Pierce on Friday, Flowers said.

Raslan’s town of residence was not immediately available.

Raslan was a suspect in a man’s death that occurred Thursday morning at Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford. Flowers said Raslan took the man’s vehicle and drove it to Indian River County.

It was unclear if the victim has been publicly identified. Indian River County deputies on Thursday released body camera footage of the shooting, which happened in a Sam’s Club parking lot.

Two deputies fired, with gunfire from one of the officers striking Raslan three times in the torso area, Flowers said. The deputies were placed on paid administrative leave, which is protocol for police-involved shootings.

The names of the deputies have not been released.


Seminole County death

Seminole County sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a man found dead about 8:45 a.m. Thursday at Husseini Islamic Center – 5211 Hester Ave. – in unincorporated Sanford. Seminole County deputies found a 59-year-old man – a maintenance worker at the mosque – lying on the ground with serious injuries, officials said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, Seminole County sheriff’s officials said. A witness saw Raslan leave the area in the man’s blue 2006 Chrysler Town & Country minivan.

Seminole County deputies later learned Raslan broke into the facility and was involved in an altercation with the man. Deputies also learned Raslan made irrational statements online.

Raslan believed “the mosque was his residence,” Seminole County sheriff’s officials said.  Seminole County deputies issued a be-on-the-lookout alert for the vehicle, which headed south.

Shooting near Sam’s Club

Indian River County sheriff’s deputies were alerted that the minivan was headed near 58th Avenue and State Road 60. Local deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, which turned into the Sam’s Club parking lot.

Body camera footage showed three deputies hold Raslan at gunpoint as he got out of the minivan. Raslan held his hands up and began to speak a foreign language.

Then, Raslan appeared to reach behind his back in his pocket. Raslan then acted as if he had a firearm and pointed his fingers toward a deputy, the video showed.

Raslan went back to the minivan and appeared to be reaching for something inside, Flowers said. Deputies then shot Raslan.

Deputies roped off the west end of Sam’s Club parking lot for about six hours. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad went to the area to search for possible explosives, but found none, sheriff’s officials said.

It was unclear if any weapons were found in the minivan.

The shooting did not cause any nearby stores to close, Flowers said. The incident remains under investigation.

Photos by Kaila Jones


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