SOUTH MIAMI DADE (CBSMiami) – An armed robbery turned into a police involved shooting in South Miami-Dade Friday morning as crooks armed with high powered weapons fired at police officers.

It was the second time in three days that Miami-Dade Police were involved in a dangerous police-involved shooting when bullets were fired at them.

“Pow, pow, pow. That’s what it sounded like,” said Lacy Walker, who was inside his home when the shots were fired near his front door in South Miami Heights.

“We were scared,” said neighbor Rudy Benitez. He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I know this is really crazy.”

Two people are in custody but police are still searching for another.

“When you hear on the radio, shots fired, that can be the worst nightmare for us officers to hear that,” said Det. Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

According to Miami-Dade police, it all started when a clerk was robbed at gunpoint at a Quality Inn located at 14501 S. Dixie Hwy.

The suspects took off but were stopped a short time later by police at SW 190th Street and 113th Avenue.

Investigators said when one of their robbery detectives in plain clothes approached the suspects van, the suspects jumped out and opened fire with a high-powered gun.

“If you’re shooting at an officer you’re attempting to kill him and at such close range with high powered rifles this could have turned tragic,” said Det. Zabaleta.

Officers fired back and the suspects took off.

It was just Tuesday night that Miami-Dade Police officers were also forced to return fire when they were ambushed.

Police say Detective John Saavedra was shot three times when he and two other Miami-Dade Police detectives and an F.B.I. agent were approaching a marijuana grow house to ask for permission to search it.

They say Saavedra was wounded when Geraro Delgado opened fire while he was guarding a grow house that was filled with 80 pounds of marijuana worth $90,000.

The Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association has expressed serious concerns about too many officers being wounded by high powered guns and has said they need to be taken off our streets.

“We believe that there reaches a limit when it comes to certain assault weapons and we certainly support the ban on those types of assault weapons that really have no reason to be out on our streets,” said PBA President John Rivera during an interview last Friday with D’Oench.

“We just need to a better job of keeping bad people from getting these types of weapons,” said Rivera.

“It’s terrible to know that people have assault weapons,” said Patricia Smith, who lives next to where the shooting happened. “It’s scary.”

“Not good,” said her neighbor Jessie Walker. I heard the shots. I didn’t get much sleep last night. I don’t like these assault weapons because the bullets can go through your home.”

“I think they should be banned,” said Lacy Walker.

The Special Response Team and K-9 units were immediately called to the scene and two suspects were taken into custody but the third suspect got away.  A handgun and an assault rifle were also recovered.

Police immediately set up a perimeter from Southwest 112th Avenue to 114th Avenue and SW 187th Street to 190th Street.

Police asked people who live within that perimeter to remain inside their homes.

Neighbors were terrified.

“I was scared because I knew there was someone armed,” said Josue Fernandez who lives in the neighborhood.

“There were police in my backyard and the helicopters,” said Maria Fernandez.

Maria’s children were supposed to attend camp at a nearby church but it was canceled due to the large perimeter and police search.

“I paid 10 dollars for a field trip and they said no refunds,” said a disappointed Josue.

As for the third suspect, he’s still on the run. Neither the officers nor the subjects were injured.

Peter D'Oench

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