SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – A 27-year-old man wielding a machete was shot by police on Friday in a Southwest Miami Dade neighborhood, but residents in the area are disputing what police say happened.
One of the women who spoke with Local 10 not only was a witness to the shooting, but also captured the incident on her Ring surveillance camera.
"Why did they have to shoot him?" she asks. "He was down and they were shooting still."
According to Miami-Dade police, officers were called to the 10800 block of SW 126th Avenue just before 5 p.m. Friday. They said a neighbor called 911 and reported a man with a machete was making threats.
According to Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, officers responded to a 911 call for help and found the man armed with a machete.
"He was walking around waving the machete and threatening passersby. That's what initiated the call," Zabaleta said. "They attempted several times to have him put down the machete, they tried to de-escalate the situation. Unfortunately, he did not comply and then charged one of the uniformed officers."
But the witness believes the video tells a different story. She said that the man never left his front yard until police arrived. The video shows him holding the machete as he walks toward an officer. The officer walks backward and tells him to drop the machete.
The man says “Dios está contigo y conmigo” — that “God is with you and me.”
Then, another officer pulls up. Soon after, shots are fired. On the surveillance video, you can see the officer firing multiple times. At least once after the man has fallen.
“Daylight, inside a community, a residential area — where there are children in the area — and you have somebody waving a machete, it is a great danger to the community,” Zabaleta said. “And thankfully, these officers were able to respond rather quickly,” Zabelta said shortly after the shooting.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel responded and took the man to Kendall Regional Medical Center’s Trauma Center. At last check, the man remained in the hospital in stable condition.
Local 10 reached out to the Miami-Dade police department with follow-up questions brought to light by the video. We are waiting for their response.