A Walgreens security guard described an armed robbery that later led to police killing two men and six officers being injured.
Denefield Ferguson said he watched from his car as Adrian Montesano tried robbing employees at the pharmacy at 2700 W. Flagler Street. According to a police report, Montesano parked his truck outside and pointed a gun at the manager, demanding money.
Once inside, the manager got away and locked himself in an office. Montesano then grabbed another employee by the neck and pointed his gun at her.
At some point, he fired a shot inside the pharmacy.
"The robber's inside the store firing shots at the manager," said Ferguson. "At this time, I'm still by my car and my hands are on my gun."
Ferguson said because the position isn't an armed post, he couldn't use force to try and stop Montesano, 27.
"And, I cannot fire a shot at him because he has the cashier as a hostage," he added. "It was too close to call."
When Montesano came outside, he confronted Ferguson.
"Then, he pointed the gun at me and my car and demanded my wallet," said the security guard.
Ferguson said Montesano shot at him as he drove away. Ferguson shot back, but Montesano managed to escape.
"I fired about three rounds at this man," said Ferguson. "I don't know if I hit him or what."
Police say Montesano later shot Miami-Dade police officer Saul Rodriguez in the stomach, then stole his patrol car and drove off, eventually ditching the car in Hialeah. Montesano then got into another car with another man, who a police source identified as 50-year-old Corsini Valdes.
Montesano (left) and Valdes (right) were later killed in a shootout with police at Northwest 27th Avenue and 70th Street.
The family of Montesano released a statement Wednesday, saying in part: "Our hearts and prayers go out to the officers who were injured in this incident and hope for their speedy recovery as well as for their forgiveness of our son... Adrian was a hard-working, responsible young man who had a promising future in the construction industry where he had displayed talent. In light of this tragedy, we respectfully request a dialogue to ascertain whether these types of situations can be handled with some additional restraint in the future. We have to figure out a way to prevent the violence in our community from escalating and ask that our community leaders work to heal our city and come together with those that work so hard to try to keep the peace while risking their own lives every day."
During the shootout, Miami-Dade police officers David Williams and Jimmy Harrell were shot in their arms. They and three other officers who suffered injuries have all been treated and released. Rodriguez remained in stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Wednesday after undergoing surgery.