MIAMI (AP) — A Miami-Dade police officer was critically wounded and an armed robbery suspect was killed in an exchange of gunfire during a car chase Monday night, authorities said.
The suspect smashed his vehicle into a police cruiser and another car while trying to flee following a reported armed robbery near the Liberty City neighborhood, the Miami-Dade Police Department said in a statement.
"An altercation ensued and shots were fired resulting in both the officer and subject shot," the statement said.
The suspect died at the scene. The officer was hospitalized in critical condition at the Ryder Trauma Center, where many fellow officers gathered in a show of support.
“I ask our community to please stand as one and pray. We have hard days ahead of us. We have to do this together as one, as a community, as a law enforcement family,” Miami Dade Police Chief Alfredo Ramirez said outside the hospital. “Right now all I ask for is prayers and good thoughts, and unity.”
Three people from the car that was struck were hospitalized in stable condition, the police statement said.
“The car that they was chasing run into the white car – it was a very strong hit,” witness Tony Ladipo told WPLG. “The police came – it was like 15 cars came, and when they got out, they start shooting at him. I couldn’t see them shooting at him, but they was shooting. I heard like 20 shots.”
Ramirez said he couldn't release more details about the case, which is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said a team of prosecutors went to the shooting scene and to the hospital.
“At this time, I am asking our community to pray for the officer, his family and colleagues,'' her statement said.