Lauderdale Lakes

Tow truck driver killed in Lauderdale Lakes; suspect wounded by BSO deputy

A tow truck driver on the job was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon by a man whose car he was hauling away from a Lauderdale Lakes apartment complex, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

The shooter then turned the gun on arriving officers and was critically wounded by one deputy, according to BSO Sheriff Scott Israel, who rushed to the scene.

The incident played out just before 3 p.m. at the St. Croix Apartments at 4150 NW 34th St.

The tow truck driver, identified as David Herr, 36 and of Hollywood, worked for All County Towing, which describes itself as a “reliable, friendly, affordable and professional tow service.”

An employee in the main office picked up the phone and said “no comment” before hanging up.

Herr was among a number of tow truck operators who responded to a call from management at St. Croix Apartments to remove nine vehicles from the property.

“He loved cars, horses, dogs and his two kids,” said Kevin Godfrey, another tow truck operator who knew Herr for a dozen years.

Herr was just doing the job when he died, he said.

“He was just an average person making a living and he got killed over $50,” Godfrey said, explaining that tow truck operators will not tow a car if the owner can pay that amount at the scene.

Herr had apparently hooked up a car onto his truck and was driving away when there was a confrontation with the vehicle’s owner. Then gunfire, and the tow truck driver was hit. He died in the parking lot.

Israel said when deputies arrived, the suspect opened fire on them, and the deputies returned fire, hitting the suspect. The suspect was taken to the Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition. He is described as being in his 30s.

The deputy who fired his weapon has been put on administrative leave, BSO said.

No deputies or other tow truck operators were injured.

It was unclear whether the suspect lived in the apartment complex or was visiting, Israel said.

Residents of the apartment complex stood outside their building as deputies conducted their investigation. The St. Croix was roped off with police tape.

Tuesday’s shooting was the most recent in a series of dozens of shootings from Alabama to Chicago to New Jersey in which people have shot, sometimes killing, tow truck operators in the midst of removing a vehicle.

Being a tow truck operator is a very dangerous job, Godfrey said, and many operators carry guns to defend themselves. Herr, Godfrey said, did not.

A woman who identified herself as Christie Owens, the victim’s ex-wife, stood outside the crime tape trying to get in to learn more. When asked if being a tow truck operator was a dangerous profession, she replied: “Very. I begged him to quit.”

Miami Herald news partners WFOR-CBS4 contributed to this report.

Read more Broward stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category