Doral, FL – A former North American Soccer League player lured police to his home with a bogus burglary report on Monday night, then opened fire on officers when they arrived to help him.
Doral police officers responded to 34-year-old Sergio Van Kanten’s apartment on Northwest 85th Court, after Van Kanten called 911 to report that six men had broken into his home, WPLG reported.
Police heard several gunshots coming from inside Van Kanten’s sixth-floor apartment when they arrived at the scene.
“Fearing for the safety and welfare of anyone who might be in the apartment, the officers conducted a forced entry and kicked down the door, at which time additional gunshots were fired in the direction of the door,” Doral Police Department (DPD) spokesperson Rey Valdes said in a news release, according to WPLG.
A Miami-Dade Police Department SWAT unit was summoned to the apartment to handle the standoff that ensued, and nearby residents were evacuated from the complex, WTVJ reported.
“I said ‘oh, that sounded like a shooting,’ but it was not like a pistol, it was like a gun machine,” resident Carol Ramos told the news outlet. “Dah dah dah. Then after five minutes [it happened] again and I said, ‘that’s shooting.'”
“I heard like crack-crack. I’m like oh, that was a gunshot,” another neighbor told WFOR. “So, then I ran to my apartment.”
Police negotiators were able to convince the gunman to surrender several hours later, according to WPLG.
He was taken into custody without further incident.
Van Kanten later admitted that he lied to the 911 operator about the alleged break-in, police said.
He also told police that he fired a gun at a Doral patrol vehicle that was parked near his apartment back in April, according to Valdes.
Van Kanten has been charged with discharging a firearm in public, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and three counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.
He also has an extensive criminal history in South Florida, according to WTVJ.
The former athlete has played soccer all over the world, including England and Columbia, WFOR reported.
He played a single match for the Miami Football Club in 2016 before he was released for reasons that have not been disclosed.
Van Kanten appeared before a Miami-Dade judge on Tuesday, but his hearing was rescheduled for Wednesday because his private attorney was not present in the courtroom.