Officer's stray bullet kills Orlando bar patron

Published On: Aug 20 2014 08:49:25 AM EDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2014 05:10:52 PM EDT

Orlando police say the woman who was shot and killed in a club in downtown Orlando was struck by a stray bullet from an officer's gun.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

Newly released 911 calls from witnesses outside the scene of a deadly downtown Orlando shooting reveal not only what was going on outside, but also what happened inside the Vixen Bar just before police opened fire, killing a woman patron.

Orlando police said 22-year-old Maria Godinez was struck by a stray bullet from an officer's gun fired at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday at the Vixen Bar at 118 South Orange Avenue.

According to Orlando police, three officers were called to the club about an armed man making threats and confronted the man, identified as 23-year-old Kody Roach, which resulted in more gunfire.

Most of the 911 calls came from witnesses who were standing across the street from the bar, but one call came from inside the bar, from the employee who kicked out the suspect police were called to arrest.

Bar caller: "The officer's yelling at him to get on the ground right now and he's refusing."

Dispatcher: "Was that the officers yelling in the back?"

Bar caller: "There's like five officers and they just tazed him."

[Gunshots]

Bar caller: "Ooh [expletive]."

That 911 call records the exact moment police fired on Roach, who bar staff said had just waved a gun inside the bar. That officer's stray gunfire subsequently struck Godinez, an innocent bystander, according to Orlando Police Chief John Mina.

Just minutes before, bar staff kicked Roach out of the Vixen bar.

Bar caller: "Yeah, I have a gun-wielding maniac on 116 South Orange Avenue."

Bar caller: "There's a guy we kicked out of our bar because he's too drunk and now he's started waving his handgun around."

Dispatcher: "Did he actually fire the gun?"

Bar caller: "No, but he set it on the bar top and he's wielded it many times, a couple times. I had to throw him out. I had to run inside and lock my door before he tried to do something stupid."

Godinez was taken to a hospital, where she died.

"Our officers responded to calls for help about an armed suspect making threats," Mina said. "The preliminary indication is that during the situation a bullet was discharged from Officer Eduardo Sanguino's firearm and fatally struck Maria inside the establishment."

Mina said Roach is being charged with carrying a concealed firearm and could face felony murder charges, as witnesses are still being interviewed.

"The Orlando Police Department is committed to a full investigation to understand how this tragedy happened," Mina said. He also added that there is no indication that Roach fired shots from his gun.

"We join her friends and family as they mourn her loss," Mina said. "I know I speak for everyone at the Orlando Police Department and throughout the city who are praying for her family during this difficult time. As police officers our job is to protect the public and keep our residents safe, and one of the most challenging aspects of our job is when criminal activity affects innocent bystanders."

Roach was critically injured and taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he is in stable condition.

"The officers were on scene and I guess he didn't respond to them, and by them already knowing that there was a shot fired, they opened fire -- about seven shots and took him down," Brian Adams said.

Lt. Frank Nunez was shot in the leg and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Orlando police said. He was treated, released and is recovering at home.

It's not clear who fired the shot that hit Nunez.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the agency investigating the police-involved shooting, said it's searching for witnesses who were near the Vixen Bar at the time of the shooting.  Anyone with information is urged to call 800-226-8521.

As standard procedure, the officers in the shooting, Sanguino, Nunez and Officer Jeff Angel, were put on paid administrative leave.

Sanguino has been with the Orlando Police Deparment for 2-and-a-half years and Angel has been with OPD for 14 years. Both Sanguino and Angel are part of the department's downtown bike unit.

Police said Nunez has been on the force for 19 years.

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Photos: Maria Fernada Godinez