HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – A police officer was shot after a chase came to a halt in Hialeah.
Tuesday night detectives from the Miami-Dade police department’s Northwest District were conducting an investigation that involved a previous domestic-related abduction. When they attempted to make a traffic stop of a person they wanted to speak with at 65th Street and W 2nd Avenue, the driver took off.
That driver has been identified as 53-year-old Leonardo Cano who has a long arrest record stretching back decades.
When Cano sped off, the officers gave chase. Carlos Tabon said his mother was almost hit by the speeding cars.
“She was coming out of the shopping center and she saw three cars with the lights off and she had to pull back real quick or she was gonna smacked, you know, or killed,” he said.
The chase came to an end in the area of Red Road and 119th Street when Cano lost control of his Nissan Sentra and crashed.
When he stepped out of his car, police say Cano opened fire on the detectives with an assault rifle. The detectives returned fire. During the exchange, one of the detectives, 32-year-old Paul Fluty, was wounded.
“It’s kinda crazy, you know, it’s kinda scary because I have a daughter and, you know, I don’t want to be around all this mess,” said Milton Rubio who lives in the area.
Cano then fled on foot.
Police from several agencies established a perimeter and searched the area. Members of a Miami-Dade police Special Response Team with K9s found him.
“They found him, as they approached a struggle ensued in which shots were fired and the subject was deceased,” said Miami-Dade police deputy director Freddy Ramirez.
Fluty was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center where he was treated and released.
“It highlights the dangers the officers face out there every day,” said Miami-Dade PBA president Steadman Stahl. “Luckily the officer didn’t get killed. We just realized that Florida is the number one state for fatalities of police officers in the country.”
A search of Cano’s car uncovered a handgun, handcuffs, plastic wrap, duct tape, and rifle case.
“This subject was hell bent on harming someone. He had a number of weapons with him including a handgun. This gentleman was going out there to fight and he was armed,” said Stahl.
Stahl said Cano left these officers no choice but to shoot him.
“The shooting with these officers, well nobody wants to go out there and kill anybody,” said Stahl. “He engaged SRT and at the end of the day the good guys went home and the bad guy didn’t.”