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Doral officer relieved of duty; forensics link his gun to police chase shooting

Doral officer relieved of duty; forensics link his gun to police chase shooting
Doral officer relieved of duty; forensics link his gun to police chase shooting

DORAL, Fla. – An 18-year-old robbery suspect was shot during a police chase from Miami-Dade County’s city of Hialeah to Broward County’s city of Hollywood.

Miami-Dade detectives and public corruption prosecutors are trying to figure out who shot Gabriel Rodriguez and if the shooter needs to be charged.

Hialeah police officers started to chase a silver Mercedes-Benz after an armed robbery on April 19 outside of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel at 6650 W. 20th Ave.

Gabriel Rodriguez, 18 was arrested after he was shot during a police chase in April. (MDPD)

According to Rey Valdes, a spokesman for the Doral Police Department, the chase continued through Doral and Detective Michael Acosta was among the Doral officers who joined.

“Detective Acosta has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an investigation being conducted by the Miami-Dade Police Department,” Valdes wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday.

Valdes said a sergeant ordered Doral officers to return to the city once the chase continued outside of their jurisdiction. Miami-Dade officers and Broward deputies were also involved in the chase.

The South Florida Police Benevolent Association is providing legal representation to Acosta, a 30-year-old U.S. Army veteran who joined the Doral Police Department in 2017.

“He was involved in an incident where multiple agencies were involved but we have not been given any information about what his role, if any, was,” said Steadman Stahl, the president of the S. Fla. PBA, adding that they don’t know if Acosta was relieved of duty because of the police shooting investigation.

On Tuesday, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office released a copy of a ballistics report that is part of Rodriguez’s police shooting probe.

The report lists two of Acosta’s guns, both 9 mm Glock pistols. One is a model 17 and the other is a model 26. A forensic examiner determined two projectiles were fired from Acosta’s model 26.

The Miami Herald reported police body-cam video shows Acosta was at the intersection of Pembroke Park and State Road 7 — where the car chase ended. One of the police body-cam videos shows a panicked Rodriguez shouting, “I got shot!”

Justin K. Beckham, a Miami-based criminal defense attorney, said Rodriguez, who has no prior criminal record, “was recklessly” shot.

“We will continue to fight for him and his family,” said Beckham, a partner at Beckham Solis.

Rodriguez is being held without bond in Miami-Dade County. He is facing charges of armed burglary with assault or battery and armed robbery. Records show he also has a pending out-of-county warrant.

Related document: Ballistic report

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.