MIAMI – Tuesday’s shootings in Sunrise that left two FBI agents dead mark the second time a law enforcement tragedy of this scope has happened in South Florida.
Nearly 35 years ago, on April 11, 1986, two FBI agents were shot and killed and five others were hospitalized in one of the most violent days in the agency’s history.
It happened in Miami, in what is now Pinecrest, when two bank robbers took on eight to 10 FBI agents along South Dixie Highway.
Benjamin Grogan, 53, and Jerry Dove, 30, were the agents killed that day.
The two robbery suspects, Michael Lee Platt and William Matix, were also killed in the shootout.
Police said Platt and Matix were best friends who ran a landscaping business, but they spent their Fridays as serial bank robbers, holding up armored cars, shooting the drivers, storming banks and terrorizing bank employees.
They were getting ready for their next heist, driving a stolen Chevrolet Monte Carlo that was used in at least one bank robbery, when Grogan spotted them.
The agents and the robbers exchanged 150 gunshots between them over five minutes, horrifying residents and people in surrounding offices who were stunned by what they were seeing that morning.
Miami FBI Special Agent Ed Mireles, now living in Virginia, is still known as the hero from that unthinkable day. Even though he was riddled with bullets, he picked himself up off the ground where he lay bleeding and fired off the final shot that ended the standoff.
Our original podcast series The Florida Files has a five-part series about the 1986 FBI shooting. You can listen to the series below: