MIRAMAR, Fla. – A large group of family members and friends arrived to a makeshift memorial on Saturday evening. They were there to pay their respects one year later and, they said, they were there for justice.
The family and friends of Frank Ordonez bowed their heads in prayer as they remembered the 27-year-old as a father, brother and son, and as someone who was an innocent victim that was killed.
The pain is still fresh in the hearts of his parents.
“We feel the same as we did a year ago,” Ordonez’s father, Joe Merino, said.
It was Dec. 5, 2019 when investigators said Ordonez, a UPS driver was kidnapped by Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Hill following a jewelry store robbery in Coral Gables.
The suspects used Ordonez’s truck as a getaway vehicle, leading police on a chase that ended in a barrage of bullets near the intersection of Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road.
In my opinion he was murdered and I will keep saying that,” Merino said.
Ordonez and 70-year-old Rick Cutshaw were the innocent men killed in the crossfire. The two armed suspects also died at the scene.
“I will never get back my son, but I want justice for my family and more importantly for his daughters. Two girls that were left without a father,” said his mother, Lucy Apolinario.
As for just who will be held accountable for the deaths of one man out doing his job and another on his way home from work, time will tell. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said the investigation is active and are now waiting on two lab reports, they said, to finalize their portion of the case.
Adam Finkel is an attorney representing both the Ordonez and Cutshaw families. He said he takes issue that bodycam footage taken by officers during the shooting has not been released to the families and the public.
“The fact of the matter is until justice is achieved and these questions have answers, neither the Cutshaw nor Ordonez families will be able to get to this next step,” Finkel told Local 10 earlier this week.
Finkel also said the families do not know what kind of firearm was ultimately responsible for the shots that killed Ordonez and Cutshaw.
When FDLE does complete the report, they will send it to the state attorney’s office. They will then determine if the use of force was justified.
Ordonez’s family just wants to know something.
“We haven’t had any type of answers as of yet,” Merino said.