A high-speed police pursuit of a hijacked UPS truck that began with an armed robbery and shootout at a jewelry shop in Coral Gables on Thursday ended in a hail of gunfire, leaving four people dead in Miramar. More details inside…
Four people, including a UPS driver and a bystander, were killed after robbers stole the driver’s truck and led police on a chase that ended in gunfire at a busy Florida intersection during rush hour, the FBI said. Both robbers were shot and killed when shots rang out at a crowded intersection in Miramar, about 20 miles north of where the incident began, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro said during a news conference Thursday night.
Television news helicopters showed first responders tending to at least one person who fell out of the UPS truck, moments after several shots were fired when the chase ended. CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports the UPS driver who was killed has been identified as 27-year-old Frank Ordonez.
The robbers held up a jewelry store before commandeering the UPS truck and holding its driver hostage, according to Coral Gables Police. After fleeing the scene and evading police for dozens of miles, the truck stopped in the middle of rush hour traffic as dozens of armed officers surrounded it.
“There was exchanged fire between law enforcement and the suspects and unfortunately the suspects are now deceased,” George Piro, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Miami office, said. “But two additional innocent civilians were also deceased.” A total of 19 officers fired at the truck, according to NBC Miami. In one video, a bystander caught between the UPS truck and law enforcement captured video of the shootout from inside their vehicle.
In addition to the suspects and the driver, a female bystander was also killed in the crossfire. No further details regarding her death and identity have been provided. The FBI identified the deceased suspects as Lamar Alexander, 41, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, both of Miami-Dade County.
UPS spokesman David Graves said the company would cooperate with authorities.
“We are deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence,” the package delivery company said in a statement. “We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employee and the other innocent victims involved in the incident. We appreciate law enforcement’s service and will cooperate with the authorities as they continue the investigation.”
The incident quickly sparked criticism of law enforcement’s handling of the situation.