MIAMI (CBS Miami) – A North Miami Beach police officer who tried to stop a shootout between suspects in two cars early Thursday was fired at but was not hurt, police say.
North Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Rand told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he is alarmed.READ MORE: New FBI report finds active shooter attacks on the rise
Rand said, “This is another stark reminder for the community that our officers are out here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week protecting us and they are being shot at. Thank God as the Police Chief of North Miami Beach I do not have an injured officer.”
“We can not have people riding around the streets of Miami-Dade County shooting at police officers. Enough is enough,” added Rand.
Steadman Stahl, the President of the South Florida PBA, said he too is troubled.
Flags at PBA headquarters have been flying at half staff since 28-year-old Hollywood Police Officer Yandy Chirino was shot and killed two Sundays ago by a suspected car burglar. And last Friday, two Doral officers—-Daniel Vilarchao and Johnny Beautelus were wounded in a shootout with a 25-year-old man who was firing at them, police say.
Watch Part 2 Of Peter D’Oench’s Report:
Stahl said, “It is extremely disturbing to see police officers being shot at. Here in North Miami Beach, we have a gun battle. It’s something you see in the movies. It is dangerous out there and officers have to be careful. Nobody knows if you are going to come home at the end of a shift. The job of the officers out there is extremely difficult and is only getting worse.”
Stahl said, “It is a dangerous time and that is one more reason why we can’t be cutting back on public safety. Miami-Dade is great because they have not cut back on public safety.”READ MORE: MDPD: Miami Beach Senior High Teacher Arrested For Engaging In Child Pornography
Chief Rand said the incident started at 2:43 a.m. when the two cars were westbound on 163rd Street and turned northbound on Biscayne Boulevard. “The shell casings go from 163rd Street to 172nd Street so this was a running gunfight.”
A Sergeant who Rand said was a midnight patrol supervisor who had been on the force for 7 years tried to stop the shooting.
He said, “The officer heard the gunfire in the area when he was patrolling and he attempted to stop the vehicles when they turned their attention toward the officer and one of them fired a round at the police officer.” He was forced to fire back.
The vehicles took off. It is not known what prompted this shooting.
In an exclusive video, a CBS4 crew captured one of the suspects’ cars in the area of N.E. 159th Street and 16th Ave. It was a white BMW that was riddled with bullets. Rand said there were four suspects inside it who were wounded or grazed by bullets. They were taken to Aventura Medical Center for treatment.
Rand said police are looking for a black, 4-door, Dodge Charger.
A section of Biscayne Boulevard was shut down for hours because of the investigation. Carlos Romero said he heard the shots.
“It sounded like “Brrrr, brrrrr, brrrrr,” he said. “It was a professional.”
Rand said the suspects had come to North Miami Beach from another city. He says they do have some leads. He made an appeal and urged anyone with surveillance tape or cell phone video that can help to call North Miami Beach Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).MORE NEWS: Texas school shooting once again raising safety concerns across South Florida
”We are asking for the public’s help in locating the black charger,” he said.