MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – In the moments before and after a dozen Miami Beach and Hialeah police officers opened fire on a car during the 2011 Memorial Day weekend, there was chaos on the police radio.
The shooting claimed the life of Raymond Herisse and injured four bystanders.
The shooting took place around 4 a.m. on May 30th, 2011 after police said Herisse, 22, was driving erratically down Collins Avenue. At one point he almost hit a Hialeah police officer on a bicycle who was helping with crowd control. Police said they thought the driver may have been armed.
As Herisse rolled to a stop near 14th St. and Collins Avenue, police opened fire on the car. The barrage of bullets was captured on camera and posted on YouTube. Herisse, who was shot 16 times, died on the scene.
The audio of police radio calls do not reveal what caused the officers’ initial contact with Herisse,
In the files, a Hialeah police officer can be heard reporting a “fleeing vehicle” going at a high rate of speed south on Collins Avenue.
This is the exchange that followed:
Officer 1: “Hialeah 200 priority there’s a vehicle fleeing southbound on Collins at 660 Street.” (Determined to be 16th Street)
Officer 2: “I believe he struck one of the officers.’’
Dispatcher: “Vehicle description?”
Dispatcher: “Attention units: silver Hyundai heading southbound from 16th Street and Collins.”
Officer 3: “Shots fired! Shots fired! Vehicle fleeing at high rate of speed Espanola and Collins Avenue!”
Officer 4: “14th ,14th and …Collins shots fired!”
Officer 5: “Shots fired shots fired! Doesn’t know why shots fired!’’
As the vehicle rolled to a stop, the officers can be heard reporting its location and then there’s a barrage of gunfire. Records show police fired 116 rounds.
Officer 6: “13th and Collins, car stopped.’’
Officer 7: “Where’s the subject? Where’s the subject?”
Officer 6: In the vehicle…at gunpoint…”
Suddenly there’s another blast.
Dispatcher: “Multiple shots, multiple shots, 1400 block of Collins.”
On the tapes, the vehicle is described as a silver Hyundai. It is not clear why the officers fired on a stopped vehicle whose driver was being held at gunpoint.
“I think it verifies what we’ve seen on the video,’’ Marwan Porter, a lawyer for Herisse’s family told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “We had the car and the subject stationary. There was nothing done by Raymond. You don’t hear anybody saying ‘he has a gun!’ or ‘he’s shooting!’ or anything that would ignite the firing squad that killed him.’’
Police found the gun hidden in Herisse’s blue, bullet-ridden Hyundai three days later. A Miami-Dade Police’s forensics lab report found that Herisse did not test positive for gunpowder residue which means he did not fire the weapon.
No mention is made of the Hialeah officer who reported that he was struck by Herisse.
The four bystanders injured in the shooting, two men and two women, have received no financial assistance for their medical bills from the city. Three of them, as well as Herisse’s family, have filed suit against the city claiming the police used excessive force.
Miami Beach’s Fraternal Order of Police has said the shooting was justified because Herisse, who was drunk, posed a lethal danger to the officers and others.
It will now be up to the Miami-Dade state attorney to determine if the officers who Herisse’s vehicle committed criminal negligence by shooting in an area filled with streams of tourists.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.