Crime

Video from Christmas ambush released as cops continue to hunt for the murderer

Fort Lauderdale police release video from Christmas Day homicide

The Christmas shooting at a Fort Lauderdale gas station near a performance of “Hamilton” wasn’t a duel, but a murderous ambush, according to investigation and surveillance video released by Fort Lauderdale police.
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The Christmas shooting at a Fort Lauderdale gas station near a performance of “Hamilton” wasn’t a duel, but a murderous ambush, according to investigation and surveillance video released by Fort Lauderdale police.

The Christmas shooting at a Fort Lauderdale gas station down the street from a performance of “Hamilton” wasn’t a duel, but a murderous ambush, according to investigation and surveillance video released by Fort Lauderdale police Thursday.

Killed by the barrage of shots: Fort Lauderdale resident Emmanuel Watts, 44.

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As for who wanted Watts dead, police say they rode in a black Dodge Dart. Video shows them pulling into the Westar station at 701 W. Broward Blvd. between pump No. 1 and the south side door of the mini mart around 5:50 p.m. The passenger riding shotgun hopped out, looked inside the convenience store, then disappeared from camera view around the west side of the building.

When Watts pulled in behind the Dodge, the driver got out, approached Watts and began firing. He kept shooting at Watts’ back as his prey staggered into the convenience store.

Just before the shooting started, the Dart’s passenger exited the restroom building and came back around the side of the building with a male in a T-shirt and jeans. At the start of the shooting, the guy wearing the T-shirt and jeans backs away in apparent surprise while the passenger leans against the building for a second then slowly walks toward Broward Boulevard.

Police are searching for the identity of the driver/shooter, a black male in a dark blue hoodie, and his passenger, a black male in a black winter hat, dark jacket and black or navy blue knee-length shorts.

Anyone with information they’d like to share about the suspects or the shooting can call Fort Lauderdale Det. Jason Wood at 954-828-5344.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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