MIAMI (CBSMiami)—Miami-Dade Police are asking for the public’s help after they say a 19-year-old man known on the streets as “J-Rock” fired at two undercover officers Tuesday afternoon who were working together in a Robbery Intervention Detail (R.I.D).
Miami-Dade Police Detective Robin Pinkard said the incident happened at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the corner of N.W. 71st St. and N.W. 14th Place which is an area known for drug trafficking. Two officers in the R.I.D. detail tried to question the suspect, Jonathan Gilbert.
Pinkard told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench they were not even able to identify themselves as Gilbert started firing immediately with a handgun and kept on shooting as they drove away in their vehicle.
“The officers attempted to reverse their vehicle when the subject, Jonathan Gilbert, opened fired shooting at the officers,” she said. “Not only are we concerned about the safety of the officers but we are concerned about the safety of the community. This individual opened fire in a residential neighborhood. People could have been outside.”
Miami-Dade Police released new flyers of Gilbert, showing his photo, and a flyer showing the type of vehicle that may also be connected to the crime. It revealed on older model Chevrolet that may be a Malibu or Impala and is brown with red doors.
Gilbert has been arrested before. Pinkard said he’d been arrested in April for battery and last July for cocaine possession.
Some neighbors are concerned.
Dawn Watson said, “That’s very bold and brutal. I mean I feel horrible for the kids who could have been playing out there. This is horrible. It’s all about the kids.”
A few neighbors had another point of view.
One man who identified himself only as “Love” said, “I understand they came up in a vehicle and what would be your reaction if a suspicious car came up in front of your house. What would you do? I think you would take action like anyone else. He probably didn’t know if they were going to rob him.”
Police said the two officers, 45-years old and 34 -years old, were not injured.
The President of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, John Rivera, told D’Oench that he is alarmed by this crime.
“If this guy will do this to police officers, imagine what he’ll do to ordinary citizens,” said Rivera. “This guy is very dangerous and we need to get him off the street. The sooner the better.”
Rivera said, “We’ve been saying this for awhile. The streets are getting meaner and meaner and then we embolden criminals as we are doing lately. We are going to see more acts of violence against police officers in our community.”
“We’ve seen too many officers killed in our community,” he said. “Each day they are going to work and it’s getting more dangerous so we are asking the community to support police for this horrible activity to come to an end so citizens can be free on the street.”
In late May, there was a similar episode when police said 30-year-old career criminal Matthew Pryor fired at Miami-Dade Police Officers and carjacked a vehicle to avoid being taken into custody. He was captured in Knoxville, Tennessee.
There is a reward of up to $3,000 in this case.
If anyone can help Miami-Dade Police find Gilbert, they should call Detective D. Rollins at (305) 835-4045 or (305) 469-1089. If you want to remain anonymous, you should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at the following: (305) 471-TIPS (8477) or 1 (866) 471-8477 or visit http://www.crimestoppersmiami.com and select “Give a Tip” or send a text message to 274637. Enter CSMD followed by the tip information and press send.