MELBOURNE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Surveying an area of the Coral Garden Condominiums off of Regency Drive in Melbourne on Thursday afternoon, it looked like a war zone. All of the windows of one residential unit were shot out, as were the windows in an entire row of cars parked just outside.
Police estimate more than 500 rounds were exchanged during a nearly 12-hour gun battle between U.S. Army veteran Michael Taylor and close to 50 law enforcement officers with the Melbourne Police Department and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
"It almost seemed like an army versus one man," explained neighbor John Murtagh. He said he and his girlfriend sheltered the entire time, inside their condominium just five units away, as the bullets flew. "You could feel the vibrations of them shooting back like on our floor."
Throughout the night, and into the morning, police negotiators tried to coax the 47-year-old Taylor out peacefully. Then, around 10 a.m., Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey and his deputies chose a different course, bringing in longtime veteran's advocate George Taylor to talk to the shooter -- soldier to soldier -- through a police robot. The combat veteran then put down his weapons and gave himself up to police, still wearing an army helmet.
Amazingly, no one was hurt. "We are extremely glad and lucky that no one seriously injured in this situation," said Sheriff Ivey.
Taylor is facing numerous charges, including many counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.