NW MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – The family of a man who was gunned down by Miami Beach police after a short chase wants to know the officer had to shoot.
Just after 8 p.m. on Wednesday, detectives with the county’s Robbery Intervention Detail reported hearing gunshots in the area of NW 6th Avenue and 75th Avenue. They then saw an SUV speeding away, according to police spokeswoman Lt. Rosanna Cordero-Stutz.
After a short chase the driver, later identified as 33-year old Julio Santiago, bailed out and took off on foot into the neighborhood.
A Miami Beach officer working with the county detail chased Santiago and shot him during a confrontation, according to Cordero-Stutz. Santiago’s family wants to know why.
“He didn’t have no gun, he didn’t have no arms for anybody to shoot him the way they did, he wasn’t no dog,” said Vanessa, a woman who identified herself as the man’s sister.
They said Santiago was a husband and father. They admit he had a criminal history, but quickly added he was trying to get his life back on track.
Police records show Santiago had previous convictions for burglary, arson and assault. His last conviction was in 2003.
“It doesn’t matter what he did, they didn’t have to shoot him,” said a woman who only wanted to be identified as “Auntie.”
Cordero-Stutz said a records check of the SUV turned up that it had been reported from Palm Beach County.
Detectives have not said if Santiago was armed. Police spent the night searching the area where the shooting occurred reportedly looking for a weapon. They did not say if one was recovered.