MIAMI – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Wednesday about 200 shell casings were found at the scene of a shootout between police officers and two robbers in Miramar.
FDLE officials said the 195 casings recovered includes both rounds from officers and the crooks who hijacked a UPS truck and held the driver hostage.
The revelation was made during a roundtable discussion hosted by Miami-Dade County's Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Committee, along with the Miami-Dade County Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board. It gave members of the public and the media an opportunity to ask questions about the investigation so far.
FDLE officials said as many as 21 officers fired their weapons during the Dec. 5 shootout that killed four people, including two innocent victims.
"I know you have questions and, frankly, I do too," FDLE Special Agent Troy Walker said. "But I will say this, with a steadfast conviction -- if I had all of the answers now there would be no need for us to do an investigation."
The shootout stemmed from an armed robbery in Coral Gables, where Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Hill hijacked a UPS truck and held driver Frank Ordonez hostage. They then led authorities on a chase until the UPS truck was blocked by traffic along busy Miramar Parkway, where the shootout took place.
Both robbers were killed, along with Ordonez, 27, and a 70-year-old man, Richard Cutshaw, who was sitting in his car when he was struck by a stray bullet.
FDLE officials said they're reviewing thousands of hours of video, including red-light cameras, body-worn cameras and surveillance. Upon the completion of the investigation, all departments involved will be presented with the FDLE's findings for use for internal affairs decisions.
"At the end, when they're done, that will be compiled with our after-action, as well as what we're doing internally to be able to determine if there was an officer that shot one too many times or just too many times or not enough times," Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez said. "That whole process has to take place still."
Ordonez's stepfather has been critical of how police handled the situation, calling his stepson's death "murder."
Authorities haven’t said who fired the fatal shots.