MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Roilan Roman told CBS4 News on Tuesday that he is struggling to understand how his father wound up in a stolen car in the middle of Miami Gardens Monday afternoon, threatened police officers with a machete and then was shot to death.
“I don’t why he would have,” he said, struggling to find the correct words. “He wasn’t the type of person to do that.”
As Roman searched for answers, he acknowledged that his father was recently diagnosed with mental health problems and experienced paranoia that people might be following him.
“He was a good guy,” Roman said. “He was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. He wasn’t taking any medicine.”
Miami-Dade police said the man behind the wheel of this Volkswagen stole the car from a nearby car dealership and when police caught up with him and told him to get out of the vehicle he refused.
Cellphone video taken by several drivers shows an officer smashing out a window of the car with a baton.
Investigators said the driver started swinging at officers with a machete and police were forced to fire on him, killing him.
Roman said what makes this all the more difficult to understand is the lesson his father always taught him about obeying police officers.
“You can’t break the law, you can’t break the law,” Roman said his father told him. “He was always by the law. He always obeyed the law.”
The president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association believes the shooting was justified.
John Rivera told reporters on Monday, “This is a clear cut of police officers protecting their lives to the fullest. There’s no question about this one.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will work to determine whether the shooting was justified. Roman said agents with the FDLE spoke to him on Tuesday.
Roman offered his thoughts on the question of whether the shooting was justified.
“I wasn’t there,” Roman said. “It’s hard to put myself in the officer’s position to say whether yes or no.”
Roman said he is anxiously awaiting the results of the investigation into the shooting. For now this young man is left to make funeral arrangements for his father.