By Joan Murray

PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) — Former Miami-Dade school board member Solomon Stinson is in police custody after opening fire on an innocent driver and police during a chase, then crashing his Cadillac, according to police.

Police said 81-year-old Stinson shot through a man’s window after they got into an argument outside the AMC theaters at the Pembroke Lakes mall.

According to police, the victim was sitting in his car talking to someone in the car next to him when Stinson approached him about the spot.

Police say Stinson shot at the man’s car, shattering the back window.

Stinson is also accused of pointing a gun at a woman while driving through a Miramar neighborhood, described by police as an aggravated assault.

When officers spotted Stinson’s car, there was a pursuit through the streets of Pembroke Pines in which Stinson shot out the window of his car before exchanging gunfire with police, according to investigators.

One of the bullets reportedly ricocheted and hit another driver’s car.

The driver, Jeffrey Labissiere said, “Fortunately, I’m okay. Thank God I didn’t get hit. Unfortunately, my car got hit with a ricochet of the bullet but besides that we’re all okay,” he continued.

During the pursuit, Stinson lost control of his car and drove into a ditch near 140th Avenue and Sheridan Street where he was arrested.

Nearby streets were shut down and residents were told to remain inside, while police tried to take Stinson into custody. He was “unwilling to surrender,” police said, and officers used a “less lethal weapon” to take him into custody.

Stinson was hospitalized with minor injuries. No one else was injured.

Police will only say he was taken down through a less lethal weapon.

Stinson was involuntarily held for a mental health evaluation.

Because he is accused of committing a felony Stinson doesn’t have to be held for a mandatory 72 hours.

Authorities told CBS4’s Joan Murray that Stinson could be transported to jail at any time.

He faces charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault with a firearm.

(Courtesy: Miami Herald)

Stinson is a former longtime Miami-Dade School Board member who retired from the Miami-Dade County School Board in 2010, after 14 years.

Before he was elected, he served the district in various capacities, including as an elementary school teacher, principal and deputy superintendent. He earned multiple degrees and education certifications, including a doctorate in school administration from the University of Iowa.

The allegations are almost impossible for Anthony Ambrose, Stinson’s longtime neighbor, to believe.

“I thought, ‘Nah, it can’t be Mr. Stinson. A good guy like that? 81 year old guy?” Ambrose told CBS 4 News.

Ambrose has lived across from Stinson in Northwest Miami-Dade for more than a decade.

“Good guy. Never hurt anything. No problem, nothing,” he said. “Oh, man. I was in shock to hear this. Horrible, horrible. Terrible.”

Ambrose said he and Stinson talk often and often look after each other’s properties. Ambrose said nothing has seemed out of the ordinary about his neighbor who lives alone and he’s never heard him talk about guns or make threats.

“Never in my lifetime since I’m living here,” Ambrose said.

Nine years ago, CBS 4 spoke with Stinson when he retired from the school board.

“I think it’s time to step aside and give someone a try,” said Stinson.

Miami-Dade’s Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution May 21 co-designating portions of roads in northeastern part of the county as “Dr. Solomon Stinson Street.”

The resolution noted that Stinson “devoted 36 years of outstanding and dedicated service as an educator, role model, and mentor to help shape thousands of children’s lives.”

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