MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Six police officers were taken to the hospital after a a violent morning of gunfire and a police chase early Tuesday morning. One officer remained hospitalized Tuesday night.
Police say it all started with an armed robbery at the Walgreens on 27th avenue and Flagler early Tuesday morning. A suspect identified as Adrian Montesano can be seen in a surveillance photo holding a gun to an employee’s head.
A friend of the subject, who did not wish to be named in this report, identified him as 27-year old Adrian Montesano. He said Montesano used drugs and tried to rob the store because he needed the money.
About 4:30 a.m. Miami-Dade Police received a report of shots fired at a mobile home park a couple miles away from the Walgreens. Sources tell CBS4’s Jim Defede, officer Saul Rodriguez was looking for witnesses to the gunshots when Montesano attacked him. The two struggled and sources say Montesano shot Officer Rodriguez with the officer’s own gun.
“He encountered this dangerous gentleman who basically shot him,” said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson.
Montesano then took off in the officer’s green and white patrol car with the officer’s gun, according to police.
The injured officer was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery. He’s expected to make a full recovery.
Sources 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.
Officers spotted the Volvo and chased it. During that chase, sources say shots were fired from the Volvo at officers.
After a brief chase, 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 Hileah police departments converged on the car, they exchanged gunfire with the people in the car. Both Montesano and Valdes were killed, according to sources.
“It was out of control,” said one man who lives in the neighborhood. “There’s more shots, (police yelling) ‘Get out of this area, get out of this area’.”
During the shooting, two Miami-Dade officers were hit in their arms. A Hialeah officer was injured, possibly by shattering glass, according to Patterson.
The injured officers were taken to North Shore Medical Center. The officers who were shot were then taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Two Miami police officers who complained of ringing in their ears after the shootout were also taken the hospital as a precaution.