The eastbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway were shut down for hours Friday afternoon after a high-speed police pursuit through the Palmetto Expressway and a N.W. Miami-Dade County neighborhood.
Police were called to Kendall Drive near 92nd Avenue for a report of a suspicious person. When officers approached, the suspects hit a police car with their Mercedes SUV, and took off, Miami-Dade police said.
During the pursuit, the driver weaved in and out of traffic on the Palmetto, putting other motorists at risk. Police said the suspects tossed what they think was a handgun out of the car window.
The car ran a red light and ran me into a ditch. I had my grandbabies in my car," said Audria Postemus. "They had no regards for anybody on the street."
The vanload of young men police pursued as burglars thought nothing of speeding, blowing lights and wrong-way driving from Kendall to Miami Gardens.
At one point, they turned into a neighborhood. It seemed the driver knew those roads and knew there were no dead ends in the widening residential streets.
The police union president, however, indicated that someone in the car may be from Broward County.
Several shots were fired and from Chopper 10 above the scene, the suspect was seen being taken away on a stretcher.
The chase ended on Northwest 167th Street, just west of the Northwest 27th Avenue exit, after the driver of the vehicle crashed the car into a fence and tried to jump over it.
The entire chase, from start to finish, covered 23 miles.
Police then began firing, striking the suspect who was then airlifted to the hospital.
Officers then pulled the other three suspects out of the car. Two suspects suffered multiple gunshot wounds and were airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center, MDPD said. One suspect is in critical condition, the other is stable. A third suspect was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.
Traffic on the Palmetto was backed up in both directions at 27th Avenue while police investigated.
"Look at what you caused," Tiffany Dames said. "You caused chaos. You caused us to be stuck on the expressway and God knows how long we're going to be here.