Police in the line of duty may expect to be shot at by criminals, but not by a colleague.
A Lauderhill police officer allegedly shot at a uniformed colleague while she sat in her squad car on an off-duty detail Saturday night.
Then he drove away in his Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup truck, stopped at a restaurant about 15 miles away, and ordered a couple of slices of pizza to go before the Davie Police Department’s Special Response Team descended on him in the parking lot.
Police said Officer Kristopher John Bieger, 30, tried to shoot a female police officer who has not been identified. The shooter missed. Bieger now faces charges of attempted first-degree murder and discharging a firearm from a vehicle.
Bieger, a member of the Lauderhill police force for five years, was booked Sunday morning into the Broward County Main Jail, and has been suspended without pay, said Capt. Constance Stanley.
Lauderhill police did not release additional details about the shooting, or characterize the personal relationship between the officers, who worked the same shift.
While the victim was not injured, her patrol car suffered bullet damage from what might have been shots fired from a rifle, according to reports gleaned from police radio communications during the incident, which began about 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Inverness Plaza, near Northwest 56th Avenue and Oakland Park Boulevard, just west of Florida’s Turnpike.
After the shooting, Bieger drove to a Publix shopping center near the corner of Griffin and Volunteer roads, where he entered Donato’s Ristorante and ordered two slices of pizza.
“He was just a regular customer. . . . The guy was not threatening nobody,” said Donato DeLio, 60, owner of Donato’s Ristorante in Southwest Ranches.
After placing his order, Bieger walked outside, appearing agitated. Pacing, and at times crying and screaming into his cellphone as he spoke with an unidentified Lauderhill police officer, Bieger had to be fetched from the parking lot when his order was ready.
He paid, and went back outside, where he continued to pace in the parking lot while talking on his cellphone, DeLio said.“I had no clue what had happened at the moment,” DeLio recalled.
Then customers began to call and cancel their orders, DeLio said. A delivery driver also called and said he could not return. Police had closed all access to the shopping center.
Moments later, the phone rang inside Donato’s.
It was the police, DeLio said, and they told him to lock the front door, stay away from the front windows, and move all his customers and employees to the rear of the restaurant.
Police had been watching Bieger as he spoke on his cellphone, and expressed concern that he might try to force the SWAT team to shoot him.
“We were in the back for two hours,” DeLio said. “Then the SWAT team came in through our back door.”
Sgt. Christopher Chastain of the Davie Police Department said Bieger was arrested without incident about 10:30 p.m.