CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - A Fort Lauderdale Police employee has been arrested after, investigators said, he shot and killed a woman in a Coral Springs home.

Chase Harder, 21, was hired as a detention officer by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department in 2022. Detectives are calling the fatal shooting a domestic incident.

On Thursday, Harder appeared in court and was held without bond. He was also ordered to not have any contact with the victim’s family or any witnesses.

According to officials, their investigation began around 10 p.m. Tuesday after calls about a shooting near the 9200 block of Ramblewood Drive. The police department notified the public to avoid the area in a tweet.

Police said the gunman, later identified as Harder, was seen carrying a young child over his shoulder as he left an apartment and took off in an SUV.

Investigators said the suspect dropped the child off at the home of the child’s biological father at around 11 p.m., then turned himself in at the Coral Springs Police station.

Jason, a nearby neighbor, said he heard at least five gunshots that kept them from going to sleep.

“It was one gunshot and it was about a five-second wait and then there were like five repeated gunshots after that,” he said. “Then after that, I came outside to see what happened and there was nothing.”

Back at the murder scene, residents said the area was closed off for hours.

Tenants of the apartment complex said they were unable to enter their units as police investigated the scene.

“My friend called and said that there are some gunshots above my apartment,” said resident Jean Louisme. “I had to be around for a couple of hours before I come back and they let me in.”

Authorities spent hours searching for the suspect who had fled the scene.

“It was a little rough last night,” said Jason. “The kids were a little nervous and anxious, but we let them know we’re here, we’re safe.”

Harder graduated as a detention officer last December and worked at the Fort Lauderdale Main Jail.

One man said these crimes happen everywhere.

“If you see something suspicious, report it to the police department,” he said.

Police said Harder remains at the Broward County Jail and is expected to make his first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s a little bit of ease, but to know that it’s so close to home is still worrisome,” said Jason.

Officials have not released the identity of the victim until their families have been contacted.

According to the arrest report, Harder was dating the victim, and the child was present when the shooting happened.

Harder has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending further investigation. He faces one count of premeditated murder and one count of written threats to kill or inflict bodily injury.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department released the following statement:

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is disappointed to learn of the arrest of one of our employees. Chase Harder was arrested by the Coral Springs Police Department on August 15, 2023, as a part of an on-going investigation. Harder was hired by our agency in 2022 as a detention officer. The Coral Springs Police Department has charged Harder with homicide. For more information about the charges and the investigation please contact the Coral Springs Police Department.

The details surrounding these allegations are very difficult to hear and do not reflect the character and professionalism expected of the men and women of our agency. As a result of this arrest, Harder has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending further investigation. We extend our deepest condolences to those affected by this horrific incident.

Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox