Officials say the man suspected of opening fire at one of Donald Trump’s golf clubs had been “yelling” and “spewing” rhetoric against the president. Cops were called to Trump’s Doral hotel and golf club at around 1:30 a.m. on May 18 after staff called 911 to report that shots had been fired in the hotel lobby. Miami-Dade police Director Juan Perez told the media that Jonathan Oddi, 42, was wounded after exchanging fire with responding officers. Perez said Oddi had been “yelling and spewing some information” about Donald Trump.
Perez continued, “He had an American flag that he did drape over the counter. That all was part of the investigation. We’re going to take it from there and see what his real motives are and how far we get into that point, and then we’ll have that discussion with the FBI to see how far this goes… This was a definite attempt to lure officers into the lobby of that hotel.” Perez later said that Oddi took the flag from the back of the Doral golf club and brought it into the building with him.
In total, five officers were wounded during the encounter. One officer reportedly received a broken wrist. Oddi was also hurt and has been taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Oddi & President Trump Seem Have the Same Opinion on Colin Kaepernick
In October 2017, Oddi posted a meme to Instagram in which the suspect accused former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick of not being a “hero.” Oddi goes on to say that “Colin worries he doesn’t have an NFL career and kneels for popularity.” Trump has been outspoken in his opinions about Kaepernick’s anthem protests. In April 2018, Trump made reference to Kaepernick at a rally saying, “We defend our flag and we honor our flag… and if others honored our flag, they’d be a lot better off wouldn’t they?” Oddi also liked tweets that were in support of Donald Trump’s anti-CNN sentiment, reports the Daily Beast.
During the shooting, Oddi is accused of shouting “anti-Trump rhetoric.” The Miami Herald reports that Oddi has private Instagram posts that “fawn” over Melania Trump. The Herald says the post reads, “#flotus rocks. She sets the example of mannerism. She counters Trumps aggressiveness.” In another post about Trump’s alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, Oddi wrote, “Reality is harsh.”
Shortly after that rally, CBS Sports reported that Trump wanted Kaepernick to attend a summit on race along with Kanye West. The summit is being organized by pastor Darrell Scott and Rudy Giuliani. Pastor Scott told People, “We don’t want to sanitize it. I want people from the left to attend. I want it to get heated but I want it to be respectful. I want them to see and know the Donald Trump I know and they will say, ‘This guy isn’t who I’ve been lead to believe he is.'”
2. Oddi Appears as a Santa Claus at Miami Children’s Hospital
According to his LinkedIn page, Oddi owns a business named Pegasus Minerals and Gemstones in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale-area and also in Tucson, Arizona. In his volunteer experience section, Oddi said that he has appeared as a Santa Claus at Miami Children’s Hospital. Oddi says that he studied business and the travel industry at Universidad del Salvador, a Jesuit university in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oddi was also previously in sales where he sold LG TVs to hotels and restaurants.
While on his Facebook page, Oddi refers to himself simply as a “fitness consultant.” Oddi goes by JonnyMyami on Instagram and writes on his page, “God is preparing you for your destiny.” In a separate online profile, Oddi calls himself an “Italian male.”
A friend, David Gonzalez, told the Miami Herald that Oddi is a “dancer and entertainer.” Gonzalez said he was on his way over to Oddi’s home when he heard about the shooting saying, “I just wanted to see if he was doing fine. I’m surprised and confused … I knew him 10 years. He’s a good person. I’ve very surprised he did this.”
3. Oddi Is a Native of South Africa & a U.S. Citizen
Oddi is originally from South Africa and became a U.S. citizen in 2017, reports the Miami Herald. He lives with his girlfriend with the Herald saying that she was out of the country at the time of the Doral shooting.
The Miami Herald reports that Oddi is in stable condition at a Miami hospital. Miami-Date Police Director Juan Perez said that he didn’t know how many time the suspect as hit. The Herald report says that Oddi was shot multiple times in his legs.
The same article mentions that Oddi lived in an apartment complex close to the golf course. The Miami New Times reports that Oddi divorced in 2014 after being married to a South Florida lawyer and has “lawsuits or criminal charges in Miami-Dade.”
4. The Secret Service Says There Were No ‘Protectees’ in the Region When the Shooting Took Place
The Secret Service has said that there were no protectees in the region of the golf club at the time of the shooting. The shooting is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. Along with those agencies, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security responded to the scene in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. WSVN reports that officials are not investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism.
The Miami Herald reports that Oddi was not a guest at the hotel.
The president’s son, Eric Trump, tweeted his thanks to local law enforcement for their swift response.
5. Trump’s Doral Golf Club Has Hosted Numerous Pro-Trump Events Since January 2017
Since Trump’s inauguration in Janaury 2017, numerous events by pro-Trump groups have been held at the Doral resort. In April 2018, the Community Financial Services Association of America, a payday lending lobby group, held their annual conference at the facility, reports the Miami Herald. In October 2017, the Washington Post reported that the GEO Group, a private prison lobbying group, held a meeting in Doral. A few months earlier, in May 2017, the Republican Governor’s Association paid Doral Golf Club over $400,000 to hold an event there. In February 2018, the Republican National Committee paid over $200,000 to hold an event at Doral, according to Citizens for Ethics.