SW MIAMI DADE (CBS4) – A man who was cooperating with police in an effort to smash a violent home-invasion ring was shot and killed by the officers he was helping Thursday night, as a confrontation between police and the alleged robbers left 4 people dead. Police say the man helping them ignored instructions that should have kept him safe.

The shooting happened Thursday night at SW 216th Street and SW 189th Avenue, as a special robbery detail waited with SWAT team members for the team of suspected home invasion burglars to arrive at a home which had been set up as a home invasion sting.

Of the men expected to arrive with the home invasion ring, one was what police called “a cooperating defendant”, identified by family members as Rosendo Betancourt, who had helped police get information about and access to the home invasion ring. Police said the man had a “previous business relationship” with the men in the robbery ring, and was cooperating with them and with the US Attorney’s office.

When the men left the car, police said, they were armed and wearing ski masks. They approached a house, planning to rob it, when police identified themselves and tried to arrest them. The men scattered in different directions, and as police tried to stop them, all four who approached the home were killed, including Betancourt, who has not yet been officially identified by police.

One person survived, said to be the driver for the team, and police said he was being questioned,

Miami-Dade police director James Loftus confirmed that they had the help of one of the men killed, but said he was not supposed to be in harms way.

Rosendo Betancourt

(Rosendo Betancourt Garcia Source: Florida Department Of Corrections)

“He was told not to participate in this action at all, not to relinquish control of the vehicle, and not to leave the vehicle,” said Loftus, who claimed officers knew the man, had the man’s description, and knew what he was supposed to be wearing.

“For reasons unknown to me and unknown to us at this point, he participated in the robbery proper, wearing the mask, wearing gloves, wearing a jacket over the clothing he had initially been wearing earlier in the day,” Loftus said.

Family members claimed Betancourt had been provided a ski mask by police to use in the sting operation. Director Loftus denied that.

“We did not provide him with a mask. We did not provide him with the gloves he was wearing. We did not provide him with the firearm found next to his body or the flex-cuffs that were there,” said Loftus.

“Why would someone put themselves in harms way when they’ve been given very specific instructions about not participating, and we know that was very clear to him?”

Loftus said there is speculation the cooperating defendant may have been “coerced” into taking part, but there was no specific evidence to support that. He said officers have a lot of audio and video that will be reviewed as they try to determine what happened.

Even though a police informant was killed, Loftus believes the department did the right thing in going after the alleged home invaders. He painted the picture of a ruthless gang of predators who used anything, including torture, to get what they wanted.

He said the leader of the group, who was killed Thursday night, had been arrested by police 14 years ago in a similar home-invasion sting.

“This group was prone to, when they broke into homes, duct-taping their victim and even torturing their victims,” Loftus said, “Slashing their genitals, it happened in a couple of cases, and torturing them until they disclosed the location of their property.”

“This is one criminal enterprise that has been interdicted and dealt with.”

None of the men involved in the robbery have been identified by police, nor have the officers involved in the shooting.

Comments (42)
  1. PhoneBill says:

    Hmmm, 4 men with ski masks in the summertime in South Florida, okay, I’ll assume there’re up to no good. Nice shooting!!

    1. trigger says:

      BS they just felt like shooting somone like they do everyday

      1. Samantha Garcia says:

        Im sure you didn’t get your genitals slashed by these thugs or else you wouldn’t be talking that much crap. These subjects had a choice….their choice was to mess with the bull, well they got the horns. End of story. Great shooting MDPD

      2. Alex says:

        Uhhh… Huh.

      3. Mark Alpern says:

        Why, you sound like a fine upstandiing citizen…

    2. james says:

      It does not bother me one bit…. just saved the taxpayers a lot of money. It is unfortunate that the informant got killed but I guess that was part of the game he was playing. Had the thugs known he was working with the cops they would have killed him so no biggie.

    3. mark alpern says:

      Looks like it’s time for another donation from me to the Police Benevolent Association. If these guys don’t take out the bad guys then, one day, we are gonna meet them! I prefer to let the cops handle the scumbags. Shoot all of them…. before the Holiday weekend is over!

    4. mark alpern says:

      100% correct Sir!!!

  2. PhoneBill says:

    Oh, thank goodness for the racial makeup of these thugs; now we don’t have to listen to all the race baiters cry afowl.

    1. South Beach Guy says:

      AMEN!!! However, I’m sure we’ll still hear how the “one” was a good guy and really wasnt part of the crime and the police forced him to be there and then shot him and planted a gun on him.

      1. blahblahblah says:

        when I saw that on cbs4 at noon today, i was maybe thinking the other robbers might have thought he was a snitch, and shot him…. then the cops obviously move in to kill the other 3 robbers that were not in on the secret raid.

      2. SR says:

        If you look up the informant’s name on public records, it shows that he indeed was a career criminal. I love how the family in the video clip say he wasn’t a criminal. According to his record, he was!

  3. nevada del rio says:

    check how many cops get early retirement useing killing someone on duty as a excuse ,

    1. Money says:

      What does your comment have to do with the story at hand ?

      1. Trigger says:

        EVERYTHING ive lived in many places and this is the only place where i hear daily about how a cops shot somone

    2. FYI says:

      You do not get early retirement after a shooting. The officers involved are questioned and the situation is investiagted. If you are found guilty of wrongfully shooting someone you could loose your pension.

      1. Citizens on Watch says:

        That didn’t happen with North Miami Beach Police officer Nelson Reyes ( Miami Herald: North Miami Beach Police Officer Shoots Unarmed Man ) He shot the son of a cop. And from what I heard from the Civic Association and others the city paid the family $373,000 rather quickly. And officer Nelson Reyes has received a promotion to sergeant and a pay increase.

  4. Mayda Cepero says:

    Sad, sad…but true , true….every day happen in Miami-Dade. street,..people died…sometime they are crazy people…but it could be they have choice to go for rehabilitacion center…but al most the time cops…don’t give choice a doesn’t matter many times are young guys it could be their own kids….Im glad Miami-dade detective Michael Scoot is not the one was part of the shooting…these his favorite choice on his job…Im personality deal with him for long time…wow the guy always when i called him ,,he was in the middle of the shooting …Poor young detective he pick the wrong job…Ask Me??? and He is like cats…have 7 lives…glad for him…

    1. SR says:

      What are you talking about? Are you drunk lady?

  5. WHIPLASH says:

    WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. lecyad says:

    great job. keep it up.

  7. ALEX says:


  8. master3 says:

    We must have the most trigger happy cops of any department in the entire country….They no longer arrest anybody, they just shoot them! ..a total disgrace!!

    1. Money says:

      So what do u suppose the police do when confronted by armed masked men. I’m not a cop and I would defend myself immediately . I’m pretty sure these bad guys had no good intentions . Stop being such a hater !!!

    2. xoxoxox says:

      you are an obvious poor schmuck…..idiots like you should be banned from posting such retarted comments…

    3. Mark Alpern says:

      They were home invaders….. who cares about them?

  9. flying_solo says:

    4 down and a few hundred thousand to go in this city. Good shooting cops! If the judges would start doing their jobs and keep these POS behind bars, the police wouldn’t have to resort to this.

    1. shoot em up says:

      The police need to get on the ball quick because all these wannabe thugs are popping up all ober the place, driving around in there mercedes benz, land rovers and jaguars, cars that they pay for by dealing drugs. This town is comprised of losers, thugs, drug dealers and POS that walk around with there trousers down to there ankles trying to impress there boyfriends. What’s so impressive about putting 42 inch rims on a toyota corolla?? At least the cops shot some people that were actually committing crimes, not like all the other times that they shot unarmed people that had tin foil wrapped around a sub sandwhich.

      1. FYI says:

        I agree with most of your comments. Miami Dade PD shot the actual thugs or people that are known to be dangerous unlike another department we all knw of.

  10. master3 says:

    Hey I’m not hating on the cops…I know they put their lives on the line for us every day. .it’s just disturbing to see so may indicents down here where cops use deadly force without giving enough of a chance to surrender or drop their weapons. The SOBE shooting was a perfect example. Yeah these criminals out there are scum….but when the police become the judges, juries, and executioners, we should ALL be concerned

  11. grateful resident says:

    Here’s a big THANK YOU to the cops who took these trash cans out. Thank God we taxpayers do not have to pay for trials, medical care, and air conditioned housing for these scumbags. Keep up the good work!!!

  12. Jeffery Eisenbrei says:

    I know where their is more

    1. Alex says:

      Yeah. I’m sure there is.
      But it’s probably more along the lines of suspect names, criminal histories, and weapons used.
      Not some far reaching conspiracy where the police frame some random kids. Or old guys, in this case.

  13. valdimir says:

    Well The Lord GOD lay’s down two roads of choice before us and that is life or destruction and unfortunately these people choice a life of destruction so please do not blame the cops or anyone else. When a person chooses to go down a wrong path things like this can happen so please do not be surprise or point the finger GOD warned us do not go down the wrong road because you can die…

  14. TRUTH 2 ALL says:


  15. GetAllTheInfoB4TalkingSh*t says:

    Really folks you all seem to think the cops did a good job!? These thugs that they killed were on the wrong path but guess what..they robbed other thugs! Yes funny how they dont mention these men would rob marijuana houses. Not just innocent hard working people but pot growers!

  16. clayrenoit says:

    where were they from ?

  17. Frankie D. says:

    These five men were sentenced to death before they even arrived.If the police knew so much about their previous acts then why not arrest them?Instead they had an informant walk them into a blood bath set up by the police.These police officers had every intention in murdering these five men and should be charged themselves.Sadly the one survivor will likely be tried for all the five murders that the police commited

  18. buddy doll says:

    if you do the crime expect to pay the price this was not the first time they had done this they probly had terorized other familys before and this time they played with the devil so they got a ticket straight to hell this goes out to all those thug wanabys tell me who youre with and I will tell you who you are going to become hang out with doctos lawyers pilards of our comunity and you will become a scollar but if you hang out with low lifes and theves reap what you sew! good job to the police.

  19. Yaspar says:

    Good shootin’ boys, and keep it up!

  20. Yaspar says:

    BTW, check out the source the photo of the “poor, inoccent” informant.

  21. Rafael Bocanegra says:

    Bring back the death penalty for anyone involved in RAPE,CHILD MOLESTATION AND HOME INVASION CASES THIS IS A DETERRENT.

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