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West Orange Times & Observer Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 4 months ago

Deputy unharmed, suspect hospitalized following West Colonial Drive shooting

According to officials, 35-year-old Philip George Nomikos was shot after firing a gun at OCSO Dep. Eric Lopez.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

Authorities are investigating a deputy-involved shooting that occurred near West Colonial Drive and Apopka Vineland Road on Sunday, Jan. 12.

According to an incident report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to East Gourmet Chinese Food, located at 8010 W. Colonial Drive, in response to a criminal mischief call around 9:03 p.m.

OCSO stated that Dep. Eric Lopez met with the business owners, who pointed out a broken glass panel on their door. The report stated that according to witness Liying Zhou, the suspect — later identified as 35-year-old Philip George Nomikos — was seen at the front entrance of the restaurant with a large stick in his hand. Zhou said that Nomikos did not say anything but used the stick to break the glass panel of the business door before walking away.

The report states that Zhou and other witnesses pointed out Nomikos, who was walking through the parking lot. OCSO Chief Deputy Larry Zwieg said during a press briefing Sunday night that Lopez approached Nomikos and tried to detain him.

"A struggle ensued and the suspect pulled out a large revolver, pointed it at the deputy and fired a round at the deputy," Zwieg said. "The deputy immediately returned fire, and the suspect was struck several times."

According to OCSO, Nomikos' round narrowly missed Lopez. Other deputies on scene performed life-saving efforts until Nomikos could be transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where officials say he remains in stable condition. Lopez was not injured.

Zwieg said Lopez has been with OCSO since 2017. Lopez is reportedly assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division but will be temporarily reassigned to administrative duties per standard procedure.

OCSO added that Lopez had his body-worn camera activated during the incident. Nomikos' motive for allegedly breaking the business' door is unknown, but Zhou said she believes he was upset because he was "evicted," or trespassed, by the plaza's landlord. Zhou added that Nomikos may have thought she asked the landlord to do this and therefore wanted to retaliate.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be conducting this investigation before turning over its findings to the State Attorney’s Office for review. OCSO will then complete its own internal review.


Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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