Miami police shoot suspected car thief during chase, officials say

Suspect was armed and fleeing from officers, authorities say

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla – Two Miami police officers shot a suspected car thief early Sunday as the armed man fled from the officers, authorities said.

Miami police Chief Rodolfo Llanes said the officers responded to a call about a stolen car around 3 a.m. near the border between the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County. After a brief police pursuit, Llanes said the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a house. The man then left the car and fled on foot, Llanes said.

Officers eventually caught up with the armed man and shot him multiple times near Northwest Eighth Avenue and Northwest 59th Street, Llanes said. Police did not describe the events that led up to the shooting in detail.

Dedric Marshall, who lives in the home that the suspect crashed into, said he heard the officers warn the suspect to drop his weapon.

"Since he didn't corroborate with the officers ... his was life was in their hands," Marshall said. "And they gotta do what they gotta do."

The man was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition. 

"All I can say is the officers were confronted with a difficult situation with an armed subject," said Edward Lugo, president of Miami Fraternal Order of Police. "The officers are safe. ... And they protected the community from an individual who was armed and dangerous."

Police did not identify the suspect or the two officers involved in the shooting. Llanes said the officers were not hurt.  

The officers will be placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, Llanes said. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will handle the inquiry. 

Police cordoned off the area surrounding the shooting for several hours Sunday.

"I just want to say those officers are heroes," Lugo said. "They’re here in the middle of the night working to protect their community, and that’s what they did."