A report of a burglary suspect barricaded inside a mobile home in Key Largo on Thursday morning ended some two hours later after members of Monroe County’s SWAT team entered to find a 28-year-old male dead.
At about 10:15 a.m., detectives with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office visited the vacant mobile home located behind the Coral Financial Jewelry Pawn shop, MM 102, looking to make contact with a person of interest in a series of reported burglaries. Following a knock on the door by detectives, a single gun shot rang out from inside the trailer, blowing out a window close to where they stood.
A call for additional units followed with assistance from additional law enforcement agencies. A perimeter was organized to contain the area with Lime and Mahogany drives closed off to traffic. Surrounding homes and properties were evacuated.
An attempt to negotiate with the individual, later identified as Travis Lee Lewanski, of Key Largo, ensued through a call to his cellphone, a bullhorn and a PA system.
“At no time did we have contact with him inside,” Sheriff Rick Ramsay said.
SWAT team deployed chemical munitions using a 12-gauge shotgun in an effort to draw the individual out. SWAT members subsequently deployed a flash bang and gained entry to the trailer to find Lewanski dead.
Ramsay said it appears the bullet that Lewanski used to take his own life was the same round that exited the window when detectives made their initial contact. Ramsay said the young male’s father told authorities his son had a .357 magnum and a rifle. It wasn’t known what gun was used in the incident.
No other people were located in the camper.
Detectives say they went to visit the trailer to interview Lewanski about the recent burglary and theft of approximately $6,000 in silver coins and a lesser amount of ammunition from another residence in Key Largo.
“It’s a sad day whenever anyone loses their life in this manner, but I’m thankful no citizens or law enforcement officers were injured today,” Ramsay said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to this individual’s family and I thank my staff for their professionalism and care in handling this situation.”
Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation officers and Border Patrol were also on scene. No injuries to deputies and officers were reported. The incident remains under investigation. Autopsy results are pending.