Martin County correctional officer accused of shooting woman
A Martin County Correctional Institution officer is facing attempted murder and other charges after investigators said he shot a woman multiple times before leading deputies on a short police chase, prompting the lockdown of a nearby hospital.
Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers announced the arrest in a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
His deputies responded to the Walker Woods apartment complex near Vero Beach at about 11:40 a.m. and found a woman shot multiple times.
Investigators said they believe Wilner Cyprien, 31, was involved in a love triangle with the woman, whose name they are not releasing due to Marsy's law.
Flowers said Cyprien waited for the woman to come home, and as she pulled into the driveway, started shooting at her. As she tried to drive away, Flowers said Cyprien fired into her car, hitting her multiple times.
The Indian River County sheriff said Cyprien immediately fled the apartment complex after the shooting, prompting both Indian River County and St. Lucie County Sheriff's offices to work together to run his plates and track him down.
Flowers said Cyprien led deputies on a low-speed pursuit.
"(The victim) was airlifted to Lawnwood [Medical Center] where she is now in stable condition," Flowers said. "The entire time that he was fleeing from St. Lucie County deputies, he had the weapon that was used [pointed] to his head. He was definitely threatening suicide. Fortunately, he was taken into custody."
During the chase, Flowers said the nearby Cleveland Clinic hospital went into lockdown. Investigators said a person related to the case believed Cyprien could be coming to the hospital.
Flowers said deputies were able to arrest Cyprien and take him into custody near a park on Delaware Avenue and 10th Street in Fort Pierce.
The lockdown at the hospital was then lifted, a little more than an hour after the initial lockdown was implemented.
"St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives were in the right place and right time to assist the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office with the arrest of this suspect for attempted murder, aggravated assault, and fleeing and eluding," the agency said in a statement.
Flowers said he wasn't sure yet if the weapon he used to shoot the woman was the weapon issued to him as a corrections officer.
Flowers also said Cyprien later confessed to shooting the woman. He said he's been in contact with authorities at the Martin Correctional Institution, who are now aware of the incident.
Cyprien will face attempted murder, aggravated assault and other charges. The Indian River County Sheriff's Office is working with the state attorney's office to prosecute the case.
He is being held at the St. Lucie County jail.
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