Traffic Stop Leads To Shooting In Sweetwater
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South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – A nearly half-mile long crime scene featuring a car accident and police-involved shooting in Sweetwater shut down all eastbound traffic on the Tamiami Trail from 99th Avenue to 109th Avenue.
The incident started with a traffic stop of a Mercedes by Sweetwater Police around 5:30 a.m.
Police said the two men in the Mercedes got out of the car, but one returned to the car to pull out a gun.
Police then fired their guns and hit a car nearby along with riddling the Mercedes with bullets.
Police say the driver of the Mercedes, Felipe Aaron Torrealba, 22, took off, leaving his passenger at the initial scene. Detective Javier Baez of the Miami Dade Police Department said, “the driver managed to get in the vehicle and flee the area. A few blocks later he crashes into a pickup truck and that vehicle strikes another three vehicles.”
The Mercedes eventually crashed into Juan Perez’s pickup truck as he was on his way to work.“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Perez’s brother, Jorge Perez.
At that point, police said Torrealba then jumped out of the car, swam across the canal and disappeared into a nearby neighborhood.
SWAT teams and K9 teams searched for more than 12 hours but had not found Torrealba Monday night.
“I don’t feel safe,” said Elena Rabassa who left the neighborhood for most of the day.
The passenger in the Mercedes, Don Drey St. Phar, 23, was taken into custody, but has not been charged as of Monday evening.
The crash shut down the Tamiami Trail for much of the morning as eastbound traffic had to be diverted from 109th to 99th throughout the morning Monday.
Police said if anyone sees someone in the neighborhood they don’t recognize that has possibly has injuries to not confront them and instead call 911 immediately.