Driver opens fire at Miami-Dade police officer, leads authorities on 4-county chase

Suspect kills self after chase that stretched from Florida City to Martin County

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - A driver led authorities on a chase that started in Miami-Dade County and ended on Florida's Turnpike in Martin County.

Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said the driver of a car that was involved in a crash with injuries at Southwest 336th Street and U.S. Highway 1 in Florida City fled the scene.

Zabaleta said an officer spotted the gray Chevrolet and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver fired several shots at the officer and continued traveling north on the Turnpike.

Authorities pursued the car into Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties before it finally came to a stop near mile marker 127.

Authorities said Michael Sardinas killed himself after leading officers on a high-speed chase.

Zabaleta said officers approached the car and found the suspect suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"It went into a 360-degree spin, and before it hit the guardrail, the gunshot went off inside the car," Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said.

The suspect, identified as Michael Sardinas of Hollywood, did not survive.

"He's on some kind of felony release from a prison system and is listed as a high-risk sex offender," Snyder said.

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