Suspect dead after police-involved shooting in Miami Gardens

Police chief says officers opened fire at driver who struck cop with car

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Saira Anwer - Reporter

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - A suspected car thief died Friday morning after he was shot at by police and crashed into a house, Miami Gardens police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt said.

The incident began about 4 a.m., when officers spotted a stolen car near Northwest 189th Terrace and Northwest Second Avenue.

Noel-Pratt said officers approached the car and the driver inside tried to flee, striking an officer. She said multiple other officers opened fire, causing the car to crash into the house.

"We're still working on the number (of officers) at this time," Noel-Pratt said.

One neighbors said she was inside her home when she heard the gunshots.

"Once I heard the gunshots, I looked out of the window and saw police with guns pointed at the vehicle," Willetta Bain said.  

Officers administered first aid to the driver, but he was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Noel-Pratt said the officer who was struck by the car wasn't seriously injured. He could be seen with an aircast on his leg. Authorities said in a news release that an additional officer also sustained an injury during the incident. Both officers were checked out at a hospital. 

"There were people inside the home at the time," Noel-Pratt said. "They're OK."

Noel-Pratt said it doesn't appear that any of the officers acted improperly, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting. She also said a gun was found in the stolen car.

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