A British teenager who emigrated to Florida and her boyfriend are believed to have killed themselves after a police officer who stopped to question the pair was murdered.
Alexandria Hollinghurst, 17, originally from Manchester, and Brandon Goode, 18, were found dead in a wealthy suburb of Orlando following the fatal shooting of 31-year-old officer Robert German in the early hours of Saturday.
A spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) said the teenagers were possible suspects but had not been “conclusively linked” to the murder.
Sheriff Jerry Demings said Mr German had called for back-up shortly before 4am after becoming suspicious about the presence of a man and a woman in a gated community in Windermere, once home to the golfer Tiger Woods.
The sheriff’s office said: “When the first OCSO deputy arrived, Officer German was lying on the roadway, mortally wounded. At the same time, shots were heard in the area.
“The OCSO deputy, along with five other law-enforcement officers, did a tactical rescue of Officer German - meaning a patrol car was used to shield [him], place him in the patrol car and get him out of the area.
“A short time later, two individuals were discovered dead in some underbrush … The cause of death appears to be that of suicide.”
Paramedics then took Mr German to hospital but he was pronounced dead later.
Sheriff Demings added: “The two suspects were found very close to where Officer German was shot. It appears to be that both suspects, a male and female, died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.”
However, the family of Miss Hollinghurst, who graduated from high school a year early, reportedly believe their daughter was murdered. The Daily Mail quoted a “family friend” as saying on Facebook: “I have friends whose daughter was murdered this morning in Florida. She was only 17 ... they think her boyfriend killed her.”
BayNews9 reported that Mr Goode was arrested on 25 February and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and having alcohol while under-age (the minimum age for purchasing alcohol is 21 in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia). He was kept overnight at Polk County jail but released the next day.
Orlando Police Department said Mr German has “paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to his community”.
“We ask that the community please keep Officer German and his family in their prayers, and remember the sacrifices paid by law enforcement officers to keep them safe,” it added.