The Broward Sheriff's Office on Tuesday said evidence suggests a man killed in a shootout with police was involved in Sgt. Chris Reyka's murder about a month before.
Detectives said they found "powerful and compelling evidence" over the last 18 months linking Shawn Labeet to Reyka's murder. Reyka, 51, was shot and killed outside of a Walgreen's store in Pompano Beach on Aug. 10, 2007.
"Today, I want you to know that cop-killer Shawn Labeet is now considered the focus of this homicide investigation," said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel. "The men and women I work with have investigated over 3,200 leads. It's been endless and nonstop."
Detectives said they have learned that Labeet had strong ties to Broward County, including the Palm Aire community in Pompano Beach, not far from where Reyka was killed. He also had ties to the Oakland Park area, where the license plate on the suspect vehicle was stolen.
"There is a location in Oakland Park, a car wash (pictured, below), where a piece of critical evidence was found," said Broward Sheriff's Office Det. John Curcio.
Sources told Local 10 that detectives found a hat and a handful of 9-millimeter bullets inside a garbage can at the car wash.
Detectives believe that Labeet, who went to high school in Oakland Park and had friends and associates there and in Pompano Beach, was near the Walgreens on the night of Reyka's murder. Two witnesses have given sworn statements placing Labeet at a nearby business and an apartment complex, said BSO.
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Labeet had a shootout with Miami-Dade police on Sept. 13, 2007, killing officer Jose Somohano and injuring three others. Labeet was killed by police later that day after being tracked to a Pembroke Pines apartment complex.
Reyka was killed just 34 days prior to Labeet's death.
Labeet spent many years living in Miami-Dade County under the alias Kevin Wehner, BSO said. He had a fake driver's license, bought firearms under the alias, and completed the necessary paperwork to comply with federal law.
"It would put the pieces to the puzzle together to know what type [of] person -- I guess it's a mystery, like reading a book -- who did it, why did they do it," said Kim Reyka, the slain deputy's widow.
A reward of $278,225 remains. During a news conference, detectives asked for the public's help in furthering the case against Labeet.
Anyone with information can call the Reyka tip-line at 954-880-3950 to speak with the lead detective in the case.
BSO is asking specifically for information about the questions below:
• Who were Labeet’s / Wehner’s friends and associates?
• Did you ever see Labeet / Wehner with a firearm?
• Did you ever see Labeet / Wehner in a white vehicle?
• Do you know of Labeet’s / Wehner’s criminal activity prior to and including 2007?