Police: Man charged in slaying of federal agent - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Police: Man charged in slaying of federal agent

Police are issuing a $275,000 reward for any one with information on a man who shot a federal agent dead on Tuesday. The sketch, right, is based on the agent's daughter's description. Witnesses say the man was driving a car like the one pictured on the le Police are issuing a $275,000 reward for any one with information on a man who shot a federal agent dead on Tuesday. The sketch, right, is based on the agent's daughter's description. Witnesses say the man was driving a car like the one pictured on the le
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Posted by Rachel Leigh email

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in South Florida say they've charged a man with killing a federal agent outside a busy post office.

UPDATE, THU 9:30 AM: Pembroke Pines Deputy Police Chief Mike Segarra says James Patrick Wonder was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday.

SWAT team members and dozens of officers surrounded a Davie shopping center and detained the 65-year-old Miramar resident without incident earlier in the day.

Segarra said more than 400 law enforcement officers and at least two Blackhawk helicopters had been scouring South Florida for the suspect in the death of 52-year-old customs agent Donald Pettit.

The agent was with his young daughter when he was shot during a fight Tuesday morning in a Pembroke Pines post office's parking lot.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

By Juan Carlos Fanjul email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

Update, WED 3:45 PM: A federal agent is killed in front of his 12-year-old daughter Tuesday prompting a manhunt.

A 'person of interest' in the murder of a federal agent was taken into custody just before 3 p.m. Wednesday at a Davie shopping center.

Pembroke Pines police Sgt. Bryan Davis. said an anonymous tip led police to a Davie shopping center near State Road 84 and Hiatus Road. The suspect is believed to have been inside the Universal Kidney Center of Davie.

The man in custody's identification is not being released at this time.

We'll keep you updated as more information is released.

Previously: Was it a case of road rage that led to the death of a South Florida federal agent? He was killed right in front of his 12-year-old daughter.

We are learning more about the events just before the shooting outside a Pembroke Pines Post Office.

Two different stories are being reported. One, that a fight began in the parking lot. The second, according to the Miami Herald, that the two drivers exchanged some sort of an insult while driving on Pines Boulevard and then pulled over at the post office.

Either way: A search for a cop killer is on right now.

To police: This killer manhunt is personal.

In the air and on the ground they are searching for a man who took the life of one of their own.

Just before 9 a.m., customs agent Donald Pettit gets into a fight with another man in a Pembroke Pines post office reportedly over a parking space.

Mike Segarra, Pembroke Pines Police, said, "They got into some type of argument. One shot to the head. The officer died at the hospital."

And what was more shocking to those who saw what happened, realizing the 52-year-old victim's daughter was with him.

She was inside his black sedan when the bullet hit her father.

Janice Chin, witness, said, "I saw the daughter frantic, hysterical, and I saw the victims lying on the ground.

She was instrumental in helping authorities come up with this sketch.

"The suspect information that we did get is a middle aged man, possibly 45 to 50 years of age, driving a dark green or grey Chrysler 300," said an officer. 

Several Chrysler 300s were stopped in the immediate area, but authorities were not able to track the suspect down.

He remains on the loose. Investigators say they found Pettit's weapon still inside his vehicle, which also happens to be a Chrysler 300.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

Authorities believe witnesses left before they got to the scene and are pleading if anyone knows anything to give police a call.

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