Surveillance Video Of Walgreens Robbery Which Led To Deadly Shooting
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South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Surveillance video was released of a robbery at a Little Havana Walgreens which led to a police chase and shooting which left two men dead and six police officers injured.
The robbery at the store on NW 27th Avenue and Flagler Street happened early Tuesday morning. Daihana Lugo, a mother and grandmother, said was outside the store with her manager and another female employee, when Adrian Montesano, 27, came out of nowhere and approached her with a gun.
First he forced the manager into the store at gunpoint.
Lugo said Montesano then grabbed her gently and said in Spanish, ‘come in, mami.’
They went inside and that is when Lugo said Montesano began yelling and demanding money. He threatened to kill her if she didn’t cooperate.
A surveillance picture from inside the store, which was released by the police union, shows Montesano holding a gun to Lugo’s head.
Lugo said Montesano fired two shots inside the Walgreens and demanded the security guard’s wallet.
Security guard Denefield 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.”
After Ferguson handed over his wallet, 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 reportedly attacked him. The two struggled and Montesano shot Rodriguez in the abdomen with the officer’s own gun, according to police.
Montesano then took off in Rodriguez patrol car. Rodriguez was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery. He’s expected to make a full recovery.
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.
Initial reports said when nearly two dozen police officers from three different agencies converged on the car there was an exchange of gunfire and Montesano and Valdes were killed.
However, CBS4 News has learned that Montesano and Valdes were unarmed when a barrage of bullets were fired into the car.
Two sources with knowledge of the investigation told CBS4′s Jim DeFede that no guns were found inside the Volvo.
The failure to find a gun inside the Volvo would mean all of the gunfire surrounding the car came from the 23 police officers on the scene, who unleashed a torrent of bullets from both handguns and department-issued AR-15 assault rifles. The fusillade lasted a staggering 24 seconds and the total number of rounds fired is expected to be well in excess of 100.
Two officers were shot on the scene. One was shot in the arm and the second shot in the arm as well as receiving a grazing wound to the head. The lack of a gun inside the Volvo certainly suggests those officers were struck by so-called “friendly fire” – bullets that came from other officers.
A third officer was injured by shattering glass.
Nevertheless, the sources stress, the lack of a gun inside the Volvo does not mean the officers were not within their rights to open fire. The officers knew at least one of the men inside the car was responsible for shooting Rodriguez and therefore had every reason to believe the men were armed.
And at least one officer claimed someone from inside the blue Volvo fired at him during an earlier car chase.
One theory is that Montesano may have thrown his gun out the car window during that chase.
Investigators along with gun sniffing dogs have been tracing the route the car took hoping to find the weapon, but the sources say so far the gun has not been found.
CBS4 News has also learned that after shooting Rodriguez with the officer’s own gun and stealing Rodriguez’s gun and police car, Montesano left the officer’s gun inside the cruiser he ditched at his grandmother’s house.
Nevertheless, Montesano clearly had his own gun that morning when he attempted to rob the Walgreens since it was clearly visible in the surveillance picture. What happened to that gun remains a mystery.