One of two men accused of killing one Broward County sheriff's deputy and wounding another says a third man, a stranger, did the shooting and got away. But police say they believe otherwise.
Lancelot Armstrong, 26, gave his version of events in an interview at the Cecil County Jail in Elkton, Md., where he is awaiting extradition.
Broward detectives have charged Armstrong and Wayne Allen Coleman, 20, with first-degree murder in the Saturday slaying of Deputy John Greeney III and the wounding of his partner Robert Sallustio as the officers answered a silent burglar alarm at a fast-food restaurant.
Greeney was killed when semi-automatic gunfire erupted from inside the restaurant as the deputy was disarming Armstrong outside in a car, investigators say. Sallustio was approaching the restaurant from the side.
Armstrong was wounded in the arm by Sallustio as the two suspects fled in a car, Sheriff Nick Navarro said.
But Armstrong told the Miami Herald for Thursday editions that a stranger shot Greeney, and that Greeney, not Sallustio, shot him in the arm.
The two men went to the Church's Fried Chicken restaurant to visit employee Kay Allen. Armstrong said he and Ms. Allen were sitting in a car out front when a tall stranger approached with a gun and took the woman inside.
Moments later, Armstrong said he looked up and saw two deputies who ordered him out of the car at gunpoint. He said one of the deputies fired the first shot, wounding him in the arm, and the other shoved him down.
"After he pulled me down, a lot of shots were fired. I don't know who fired," the prisoner said. As he jumped back into the car, the mystery man came running out of the restaurant and fled.
He and Coleman fled and headed for New York. They got as far as Maryland before being caught.
Broward sheriff's spokesman Al Gordon said detectives know of no third man and deputies didn't fire the first shot.
"He really stretches the truth," Gordon said of Armstrong. "We really have a strong case against him."
Meanwhile, Coleman, who was voluntarily returned to Florida late Wednesday, made his first court appearance Thursday. Broward Circuit Judge Robert Zack Elkton denied bond and appointed a public defender to represent him.
The Herald said Armstrong told reporters that he, too, was going to waive extradition and let himself be returned, but Gordon said he knew of no change in Armstrong's status.