NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – A grieving sister is demanding answers after her brother was shot and killed Wednesday night by police.
As she speaks out, Miami-Dade Police released new details in this case, telling CBS4 that the man who was shot was a career criminal with a lengthy arrest record. They also said he was also driving a vehicle that had been stolen in West Palm Beach.
Police also revealed that he had no gun with him and are only able to say right now that he was killed after a “confrontation” with the officer.
“It makes no sense,” said Vanessa Valentin, the sister of the man who was shot, 33-year-old Julio Valentin, who had a wife and a four-year-old daughter.
In an interview at her home, Valentin told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “They shot him for no reason. There was no weapon on him. He didn’t have a gun. He didn’t have a knife. He was on his way home from work. He didn’t do anything wrong.”
“They were there for something else,” Valentin said officers. “They took it out on him.”
The incident unfolded around 8 p.m. Wednesday when detectives with the county’s Robbery Intervention Detail, known as “RID,” heard gunshots near Northwest 6th Avenue and 75th Street. They say they saw an SUV that had been stolen in West Palm Beach speeding away.
“The driver abandoned the car and fled on foot,” said Miami-Dade Police Lt. Rosanna Cordero-Stutz.
A Miami Beach officer working with the detail chased him and shot him, she said.
“There was a confrontation between the officer and the subject and he was shot and expired on the scene,” said Cordero-Stutz.
Because of the investigation, she could not say what prompted this shooting during the confrontation.
“Every officer makes a decision in a fraction of a second on what actions are appropriate and what actions to take,” said Cordero-Stutz. “No one takes another person’s life lightly. However, at the end of the day, we have a job to do.”
“At this time it is premature for anyone to make a judgment call as to whether he should have fired his weapon or not have fired his weapon.”
Lt. Cordero-Stutz told D’Oench that Santiago was a career criminal. She showed CBS4 24 pages of Santiago’s criminal history since 1994. The pages when spread out covered a large table.
Records showed that he had arrests and in most convictions for grand theft, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, escape from a detention facility, arson, trespassing, false imprisonment and firearms possession.
His last conviction was in 2003 and Valentin says her brother was turning his life around.
“This arrest history has nothing to do with what happened last night,” she told CBS4. “We all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. What he’s done in the past has nothing to do with last night. I am going to try to get answers. That’s what I want.”
Police said the officer who shot Santiago has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.