SOUTH MIAMI-DADE COUNTY (CBSMiami.com)–Police officers and federal agents swarmed U.S. 1 after a chase ended in a crash and gunfire. In the end, One person died and the other is in the hospital.
Miami-Dade police said it started with a federal investigation, headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration. A senior law enforcement source told CBS4 News that federal immigration agents, ATF agents and Miami-Dade police had targeted members of a South Dade gang for more than six months.
The source told CBS4 News that the gang was selling drugs and automatic weapons. Authorities were serving a warrant on suspected gang members when the chase ensued.
Sources said the lead law enforcement vehicle belonged to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
PBA president John Rivera said he was told two men were under investigation and had violent histories.
“This was an extremely dangerous situation from the very beginning to the very end,” Rivera said.
The alleged criminals rolled their car south of the Last Chance Saloon and then two of them came out shooting and leading police on a high speed chase, sources told CBS4. Federal agents and police immediately returned fire.
Police said they had a weapon.
“It’s definitely a high-powered assault rifle,” Rivera said.
Sources told CBS4 the chase began when undercover officers went to purchase a kilo of cocaine and a fully automatic AK47. The men allegedly tamed a DEA agent’s car and hit another police vehicle before the suspect’s truck rolled over.
One suspect was shot by a Miami-Dade officer as he tried to run into the woods. He is in stable condition. The second person was shot as he tried to get out of the car.
According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the two gun shot victims were sent by air rescue to Kendall Regional Hospital. One of the men later died, CBS4’s Maggie Newland reported.
The chase ended up near mile marker 126, or roughly a half-mile from the intersection of U.S. 1 and Card Sound Road just south of the saloon.
“We saw three helicopters earlier today hovering… police everywhere trying to figure out what it was,” witness Linda Finch said.
A large police presence immediately swamped the area. At least 20-30 police cars were at the scene.
Traffic was shut down in both directions on the Overseas Highway at Card Sound Road.
‘We’re blessed that none of our officers were hurt, none of the federal agents were hurt and again Miami-Dade County is a little bit safer because these two extremely dangerous people are off the street,” Rivera said.