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Walgreens Guard’s Face To Face Meeting With Shootout Suspect

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Walgreens security guard Denefield Ferguson said he'll never forget his encounter with Adrian Montesano.  (Source: CBS4)

Walgreens security guard Denefield Ferguson said he’ll never forget his encounter with Adrian Montesano. (Source: CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Walgreens security guard who came face to face with a man who ended up shooting three police officers before he died in a hail of bullets in a shootout said it will be something he will never forget.

Denefield Ferguson said he was on duty when Adrian Montesano, 27, stormed into the store on 27th avenue and Flagler Street, put a gun to an employee’s head and demanded money.

“I was very nervous,” said Ferguson. “He threatened to shoot her, he threatened to shoot me, he also pointed the gun at me.”

Ferguson said he was on break Tuesday around 3 a.m. when a suspicious man, who police identified as Montesano, showed up at the store. When the employees told him the store was closed, he left but came back later.

This time, Ferguson said, he was armed.

“He pulled out a gun and grabbed one of our cashiers around the neck and waist and forced her into the store at gunpoint,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson said he had his hand on his 9mm pistol the whole time but didn’t risk firing it.

“He was using the lady, our cashier, as a shield so I kept gun in my right hand,” said Ferguson. “I did not want her to get shot by him so I wasn’t able to make a move, I had to lay low and wait for him to leave.”

Ferguson said Montesano demanded cash but didn’t get any. He then went outside, pointed the gun at Ferguson and then shot out the back window of his car as he demanded the guard’s wallet.

Ferguson said at first he refused then he threw it on the ground.

As Montesano drove away, Ferguson said he tried to stop him.

“I fired three rounds at his vehicle,” said Ferguson. “I was just so upset and angry about it.”

A short time after the robbery, Miami-Dade police received a report of shots fired at a mobile home park a couple miles away from the Walgreens. Officer Saul Rodriguez was looking for witnesses to the gunshots when Montesano attacked him. The two struggled and Montesano shot Rodriguez in the abdomen with the officer’s own gun.

Montesano then took off in Rodriguez patrol car. Rodriguez was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery. He’s expected to be okay.

Police say Montesano drove to his grandmother’s house in Hialeah where he traded the patrol car for her blue Volvo and then picked up a passenger, Corsini Valdes.

A Hialeah officer spotted the Volvo and chased it. The chase came to an end with the Volvo crashed between a utility pole and a tree at NW 27th Avenue and 63rd Street.

As at least 23 officers from the Miami, Miami-Dade and Hialeah police departments converged on the car, they exchanged gunfire with the people in the car. It’s unclear who fired first.

Two officers received gunshot wounds to their arms; a third was injured by shattering glass. They were taken to the hospital where they were treated and released.

Montesano and Valdes died in the shootout.

Wednesday, Ferguson was back at work this morning. Police were able to retrieve his wallet and return it to him.

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