Final report issued on murder of Windermere police officer
| 3:36 p.m. September 12, 2014
West Orange Times & Observer
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office last week released its final investigative report on the March 22 murder of Windermere Police Officer Robert “Robbie” German.
The report states that German, 31, was shot and killed by either Brandon Goode, 18, or his 17-year-old girlfriend, Alexandria Hollinghurst, at the southeast corner of Horizon Circle and Conroy Windermere Road.
The Davenport teens had been sitting on a curb at the intersection. Video footage from a nearby Walgreens showed German exiting his patrol car next to the pair at about 4:01 a.m. Goode then rose to his feet, followed by Hollinghurst.
German was killed after being shot once in the head with a bullet fired from a .357 Magnum by one of the teens, investigators said.
“Due to distance and lighting from the Walgreens’ video surveillance camera, it is difficult to see who actually shot Officer German at that moment,” the report stated.
Two minutes after German was murdered, Goode shot himself in the head, and 45 seconds later, Hollinghurst shot herself in the head, according to the report. The teens’ bodies were found in bushes next to Isleworth Realty, 9350 Conroy Windermere Road, about 150 yards west of where German’s body was found.
Before these tragic events occurred, Goode and Hollinghurst had written suicide letters to their family members, investigators said. At about 10 a.m. March 21, Kissimmee Police Department officers had tracked down the teens in Goode’s vehicle outside of a store in Kissimmee. While police were trying to get the pair to exit the vehicle, Goode gunned the engine and fled the scene.
But it isn’t known how the teens made their way to Windermere, Windermere Police Chief David Ogden said Sept. 3. Goode’s vehicle reportedly was parked outside of a Kissimmee bank from late in the morning on March 21 to sometime during the day on March 24, when it was reported to police.
Goode and Hollinghurst had lived together with Goode’s mother in Davenport for a period until late February. His father has a residence in Windermere.
The 273-page, final investigative document includes reports by: 24 members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, including deputies, detectives and crime-scene investigators; two Orlando Police Department K9 officers; six Ocoee Police Department officers; three members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office; three members of the Windermere Police Department; and an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
‘Our fallen hero’
Shortly after the final investigative report was released, Windermere officials issued a statement that read, in part:
“On March 22nd, 2014, the Town of Windermere Family lost a son, a brother, and a hero when Officer Robert German was killed in the line of duty. The entire community came together during this tragic time and truly demonstrated why the Town of Windermere is such a great place to work, live, and raise a family.
“From the various memorials, blue ribbon campaigns, and outpouring of support, the Town came together and honored our fallen hero. Although this report will bring closure to this criminal case, our memories of Officer Robert “Robbie” German and support for his family will survive.
“The Town of Windermere and Windermere Police Department would like to thank the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for their diligent investigation and immediate support following this incident. In addition, our gratitude and praise go out to those Officers and Deputies that not only assisted that tragic night, but all of those that put on a uniform and risk their lives on a daily basis.”
German, who was unmarried and did not have children, served as a Windermere police officer for more than five years. He was born in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, and moved to Florida at the age of 5.
He grew up in Sanford and Lake Mary and became a year-round soccer player, progressing to club select/travel teams during his middle and high school years. German graduated from Lake Mary High School in 2001 and received an athletic scholarship to attend South Georgia College, where he studied business.
Following work in airport operations, involving security and interaction with local police departments, German realized his growing interest in law enforcement and decided to attend the Police Academy at Seminole State College.
“When pretty much everything you do has a direct and sometimes immediate impact on the safety of the community and its citizens, it makes the work itself rewarding,” German said in the town of Windermere’s fall 2013 Gazette newsletter. “I feel fortunate to be working for the Windermere Police Department, which has afforded me the opportunity to have a close camaraderie with fellow officers and has allowed me to get to know many town residents on a more personal level.”
Ogden said the police department, which has 12 officers including himself, has settled down since the tragedy.
“Through all kinds of tragedies, I think people take a step back and evaluate and take the positives out of things,” he said. “I think our officers are mimicking the good things Robbie has done.”
A seven-member committee, which includes Ogden, is working on creating a memorial for German. Ogden said the committee is thinking of stationing a large boulder, inlaid with a brass plaque containing words about German from his family, in front of the police station. The chief said he hopes to find a type of boulder that is indigenous to Canada.