Surveillance video captures fatal shooting in Opa-locka parking lot

Man killed by police Monday was gunman in Opa-locka shooting, relatives say

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. - The brother-in-law of a man who was shot in the face Sunday outside a pawn shop in Opa-locka said the gunman was killed by police Monday in a shootout in Miami Gardens.

Tamario Calloway, who owns a car wash near the pawn shop, told Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright that it all started when the victim, Roberto Cardenas, 44, and the suspect, Ronnie Churches, 45, got into an argument.

Calloway said Cardenas told the suspect not to be fighting with employees of the car wash because that was his brother-in-law’s business.

"He walked up to the car (and) he shot my brother-in-law in the face," Calloway said. 

Surveillance video from Sunday afternoon shows a man opening fire on the driver of a white car in the parking lot of the pawn shop on Northwest 27th Avenue.

The same man then came back and stole the victim’s rifle.

Cardenas died at the hospital.

"I'm traumatized right now, you know what I'm saying? I seen my brother-in-law get killed with my own eyes," Calloway said. 

Calloway said Cardenas was married to his sister, who died last year.

In the surveillance video, you can see the victim's new girlfriend and her two children running for cover.

The shooter got into a gray SUV and fled the scene.

"I just heard the tires screeching when he pulled off," Calloway said. 

Calloway said Cardenas' killer was fatally shot by Miami-Dade police Monday afternoon near Northwest 204th Street and 23rd Court in Miami Gardens.

Relatives identified that man as Churches. 

Police said the suspect was armed with a rifle and a handgun, and started shooting at officers when they came to the neighborhood while investigating the Opa-locka shooting.

Churches was killed when they returned fire.

"He would have killed a police officer, the way he did it there. He was capable of anything. You can tell," witness Manuel Charles said. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the police-involved shooting.

As for Cardenas, Calloway said he'll always remember his brother-in-law as a generous person with a good heart.
 

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