Jury convicts 25-year-old felon who shot at officer with stolen gun

Andrew Eckel awaits sentencing for being felon in possession of firearm


MIAMI – When he was 18, Andrew Leo Eckel was arrested for a burglary and grand theft. At 19, he was accused of going on a two-day crime spree that included a burglary and stealing a car. 

He was 21 and on house arrest when an account on Twitter with his name and picture said, "At this point in my life, I'm just trying to survive."

He was 24 when during a high-speed chase in Florida City, the convicted felon held on to a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver.

Eckel made a quick left turn and leaned out the window to shoot at a Florida City Police Department officer three times, police said. 

A tattoo on his right arm reads, "No fear." And on his left arm: "Death is certain."  

The police officer wasn't injured. Eckel continued speeding. He stopped, got out of the car running and jumped over a wall. A helicopter followed him into the Gold-Coaster trailer park community.

Miami-Dade Police Department's special response team caught up to him.

Police later learned Eckel used a stolen firearm to shoot at the police officer Nov. 16, 2015. He fired three rounds and had two live rounds left.  On Thursday, a federal jury convicted him of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. 

"Eckel’s conviction sends a clear message that those who pose a threat to the community’s safety will be held accountable," FCPD Chief Pedro Taylor said in a statement released on Friday. 

 Eckel remained in federal prison in downtown Miami on Friday.

Prosecutors Anne P. McNamara and Rilwan Adeduntan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo A. Ferrer, and Acting Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Brandt Schenken, celebrated the conviction. 

"This case is a great example of how decisive police action and collaboration with ATF can lead to the apprehension and prosecution of individuals that pose a potential danger to South Florida communities," Schenken said. 

Eckel faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison for being a felon in possession of a gun. Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence is set to sentence him at 10 a.m., Jan. 12. 

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