*into a vehicle with a hostage https://t.co/qYvWhv1rc1
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) December 10, 2019
In a world with less terrible / outrageous news every day, I have the feeling this incident might’ve gotten more attention.
… Most of those officers — 13 — were from Miami-Dade Police Department, having followed the truck into Broward County during a long chase, said Rod Skirvin, president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association.
Four people were killed in the shootout Thursday evening at an intersection in Miramar: two robbery suspects who’d hijacked the truck; a UPS driver they had taken hostage; and a bystander, police said.
The shootout happened as a police chase ended after the hijacked UPS truck got stuck in traffic. Gunfire erupted from inside and outside the truck, though it’s not clear who fired first.
Police officers left their vehicles and crouched behind cars — their own and others at the intersection — as shields as they approached, video from the scene showed.
Suspects Lamar Alexander, 41, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, both of Miami-Dade County, were killed, the FBI said.
Whether Ordonez and Cutshaw were shot by police is under investigation, the FBI has said.
At least 13 police officers were shot at, but none was injured, according to Steadman Stahl, president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association.
The chase began after Alexander and Hill robbed a jewelry store Thursday afternoon in Coral Gables, near Miami, and hijacked the UPS truck, police said.
Police radioed that gunfire occasionally erupted from the truck even as police chased it, CNN affiliate WSVN reported…
Ooooh, hot pursuit! Stealing jewelry is wrong, and pistol-whipping a store employee is worse, but I can’t see how making sure the perpetrators didn’t escape was worth shooting two people whose only crime was going to work that day.
… “Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” said David Klinger, a criminal justice professor at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. The incident “was really, really bad.”
But as chaotic and calamitous as the episode was, it was also “a perfect example” of why police are allowed to use deadly force against dangerous criminals, Klinger said. Authorities said Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill had left a trail of violence behind them that evening. Stopping them by any means — even with bullets — was “absolutely the right thing to do,” Klinger said.
“In a situation like this, the police are reactive,” Klinger added. “This is not a situation they want to be in. Their hand was forced.”
The dramatic exchange of gunfire followed a high-speed chase through two counties that thwarted residents’ commutes at rush hour. The men had tried to rob Regent Jewelers in Coral Gables, triggering a silent alarm about 4:15 p.m., police said.
They said a female employee of the store was injured as the robbers and the store owner shot at each other. The gunmen fled north in a truck, then commandeered a UPS truck while the driver was making a delivery, police said. Several police cars pursued the UPS truck, with the UPS driver trapped inside, until the vehicle was boxed in by traffic in Miramar and officers surrounded it….
Geoff Alpert, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina, said that other than having a SWAT truck with heavily armed tactical police officers, he did not know of alternative ways that police could have safely ended the pursuit. The gunmen had proved that they were willing to resort to violence to escape and could have endangered other people in the area, such as by hijacking other cars, Alpert said.
“This is why the police are trained to do what they do,” he said…
Cops: We are the only thing standing between the criminals and you
Also cops: [stands behind you when criminals start shooting] https://t.co/SJ68aeNqaa
— Flushcount:TenHat (@Popehat) December 7, 2019
Seems like the cops could’ve given the perpetrators a few minutes, just so the “they shot first” defense would be a little clearer. (Unlucky damned hostage was about to end up dead anyways.) I’m told that Coral Gables is “one of South Florida’s most sought-after shopping destinations”, but we haven’t quite descended to the point where richer zip codes get a free pass on extrajudicial murder, have we?
judge the cops all you want, you have NO idea how you'd react in a hostage crisis so it's easy to say you wouldn't murder the hostage and a bystander while using innocent people as cover in order to save three grand worth of jewelry and a truckload of Amazon packages
— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) December 6, 2019
Hey in the cops defense, using NPCs as human shields to defend low level loot is perfectly acceptable if your entire view of policing comes from Grand Theft Auto
— Big Malarkey Lobbyist (@MenshevikM) December 6, 2019
Bonus cameo from another newsmaker:
"If you don't start showing enough respect to these officers, they might not protect your community." – Bill Barr, paraphrased https://t.co/DZyl5rWAlW
— Daily Trix (@DailyTrix) December 7, 2019