TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Police said one of two people killed during an altercation at a Tallahassee restaurant early Wednesday morning was shot by an off-duty police officer.
Shots rang out just before 1 a.m. at El Patron Mexican Grille and Cantina. Witnesses told WCTV-TV that people were out celebrating FAMU's upcoming graduation this weekend.
The witness was on a crowded dance floor when a 24-year-old man was shot. Authorities later identified that victim as 24-year-old Ira Brown Jr.
Tallahassee police said the fight then moved outside, where two other people were shot before off-duty Officer Jason Ravenel shot and killed a suspect, 32-year-old Dimitre Penny.
"There are many details that we do not know about what occurred and why it happened," Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said.
Ravenel and another off-duty TPD officer, Ed Guerra,were working security at the event. They have both been placed on administrative leave, which is department protocol.
The two people shot outside the restaurant were hospitalized in stable condition. They've been identified as 24-year-old Dionne Hardnett and 25-year-old Juarice Hayes.
The restaurant owner released a statement, saying, "Our prayers and thoughts are with the families of the victims and everyone who got hurt. We are still in shock that this happened at our restaurant. We were having a graduation party when all this took place. It is very unfortunate that these things happen when people are having a good time. After hiring a cleaning service, we were able to reopen Wednesday evening. We'd like to thank our customers for all the support they've been giving us during this difficult time."
Tallahassee police asked anyone with any information to call a special hotline dedicated to this case: 850-891-4331.
Tallahassee police spokesman David Northway said Ravenel and a second off-duty officer were providing security outside the restaurant when patrons alerted them to a fight inside. Both officers were placed on administrative leave.