Man With Flare Gun Shot By Police, Family Outraged

HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – A man is dead and an officer is injured after a police-involved shooting at a Hialeah apartment complex.

Officers were sent to the Westland 49 Apartments at West 49th Place and West 12th Lane Saturday afternoon after someone called police to say a man was armed and agitated. According to Hialeah Police Chief Mark Overton, the man was armed with a flare gun when three officers arrived and confronted him in the hallway of the apartment building. After an exchange, officers opened fire on the man fatally striking him.

Family members say the man who was killed is 48-year-old Luis Enrique Nunez. They say he had a flare gun because he is a truck driver and uses it on the road. Nunez was pronounced dead on the scene and an injured officer was transported to the hospital. Overton said the officer had a non-life threatening injuries to his hand.

Nunez’ sister of the alleged gunman told CBS4′s Natalia Zea that he had a history of mental illness and paranoia. She says he had been drinking and may have been high during the incident but she says police did not have to kill him. She rushed to the scene to speak with him, but says police wouldn’t let her near.

“I said ‘Please, that’s my brother don’t shoot him. Let me talk to him because he knows me, he knows the family, he will react, he knows me’,” said Elsa Nunez. ” They said ‘Okay, okay, step down, step down, give me your driver’s license step down’. They murdered my brother. They shoot him eight times in his chest.”

“I don’t know the facts of that whether she was there but I can tell you if the subject was acting in a dangerous manner and was armed officers were not going to allow her to go into a dangerous situation, we just can’t do that,” said Overton.

Nunez’ nieces showed up to the scene, crying, and in disbelief that their uncle is gone.

“He’s a great man. He’s made some wrong choices but he’s never hurt anyone. Never. He’s a great uncle,” said Nunez’s niece Ana Martines.

Police have not determined who fired first, but Overton said a flare gun is a weapon and his officers say they were forced to fire.

“A flare gun will kill you if they shoot you. It is a deadly weapon, it can be considered a deadly weapon,” said Overton.

The three officers who shot Nunez are on paid administrative leave while homicide detectives, internal affairs and the State Attorney’s office investigates.

More from Natalia Zea
  • Carol

    I wish these people wouldn’t call the police because if this happens to their loved ones they blame the police and NOT their loved ones.

    This man had a flair gun in a hallway where he could hurt anyone and he aimed at the police what is policeperson supposed to do just stand there and wait to be shot that simply not going to happen. A flair gun can kill as well so they will protect themselves as will as the people around them and sadly it sometimes ends up with a death.

    I used to ride around with the police and I saw first hand what they go through on a daily basis and to say it is difficult is not saying strongly enough everything has to be decided in second or less so I truely feel for them.

    I think more of the general public should ride arond with them and see up front and personal ot see what they truely go through and then and only then they will fully understand what it really like.

    • Susan

      What about taser they could have use it, or maybe even shotting him on a leg or so all the shots were from his upper body, they meant to kill him.

      • michael

        Shooting a leg can still allow a perp to shoot back. Plus, military and police are taught to aim for center-of-mass, ie torso, of an assailant. That is why target silhouettes are upper-body.

      • Joel

        A Taser is only good for 10-15 feet — a flare gun is good for hundreds of feet, and lethal at all distances.

    • Irrelevant

      You do know most flare guns cannot kill you. You do know they could have just shot the guy with a stun gun. You do know that there are other ways to solve this kind of issue. You do know that they shot the man 8 times not 1. You do know that it was poor judgment on the police offecers behalf to fire their weapons. You do know that rather than apologizing the officers are using exuses to say “It is okay to kill someone”.
      I love how this is being handled and veiwed it makes one realize just how low the intelegence level of the United States is dropping.
      P.s. It is good to know we have people out there that harbor such thoughts such as “That whole family needs to be shot in the chest.” (Fritz von’s comment). That sure does make the public feel safe. If you cannot realize how much the family is suffering from this insedent then please don’t comment. It also might mean you have not lost a loved one (past tense since they would have passed away) in wich you can associate with that person. I would like to see the reaction of the selfish and heartless(metaphorically used) people to this comment. I would also like to see how many people actually care for the feelings of others.

    • nicevill23

      i agree,family do suffer,but when they condem the police that are defending themselves and others from some friggin nut with a flair gun and blame the police,they are just wrong.If the officer on the scene were their family member im SURE they would be praising the action of the officer and glad that another friggin looniatic with a gun of some sort is dead and off the street.The world is a better place without having to fear people like this anymore

  • fritz von

    That entire “family” needs to be shot in the chest.

    • Susan

      Why don’t you give out your real name if you do believe something like this should be done, have you stop a minute to think about this guys parents how they must fell, family can’t be choosen but friends do hope you were never a friend of the family.

  • poorwhiteboy

    Just another dumb-ass dead illegal. lets get more.

  • Susan

    You are so sad and just FYI he was legal, oh and by the way are you Indian? Becasue if you are not ,read your history (your dumb- ass is illegal too. )

  • Jim Bob

    Doesn’t matter now but at least he won’t be a burden on us in the health system. Nut job, I applaud the police! He had a flare gun because he was a truck driver what the hell does that mean?… Fritz von your comment is correct!!!

  • Clayton

    Ahh rednecks, the bane of modern society. So quick to jump on the bandwagon to accuse and judge, but even more quick to jump in a government handout line. The highlight of my day is turning on the local news to see the 300 pound 23 year old mom of 5 complaining about how illegals are sucking our economy dry. I am from Alabama by the way.

    I feel sorry for this family. As with most situations involving cops it could have been handled differently. Sure the guy had problems but we will never know the extent. I guess when your friends (other police, DA, judges) are the ones investigating you and deciding your fate, you can do what you want without fear of repercussions.

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