Chase with stolen UPS truck in Florida ends with shootout, 4 dead

Posted: Updated:

By BRYNN ANDERSON and TIM REYNOLDS
Associated Press

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) - Four people, including a UPS driver, were killed Thursday after robbers stole the driver’s truck and led police on a chase that ended in gunfire at a busy South Florida intersection during rush hour, the FBI said.

Both robbers were shot and killed, and the fourth victim was in a nearby vehicle when shots rang out at a crowded intersection in Miramar, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of where the incident began, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro said during a news conference Thursday night.

Television news helicopters showed first responders tending to at least one person who fell out of the UPS truck, moments after several shots were fired when the chase ended.

“It’s very early in the investigative process,” Piro said. “There are a lot of questions that are still unanswered.”

In Coral Gables, where the incident began, police said a jewelry store worker was also injured but did not say if she had been shot. There was no immediate update on her condition.

It all started shortly after 4 p.m., when police in Coral Gables received a silent alarm at the Regent Jewelers store in the city's Miracle Mile area, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of Miami. Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak said during a news conference that two suspects were at the store and that shots were being fired when police, summoned by a silent alarm from inside the store, arrived.

The suspects fled in a truck, then carjacked the UPS delivery truck and its driver not long afterward to start the chase into the southern portion of Broward County, running red lights and narrowly avoiding some crashes along the way. The UPS truck finally stopped in one of the middle lanes of a busy roadway, caught behind a wall of other vehicles waiting for a red light to turn green. Television footage showed several officers on foot, some with guns drawn, approaching the truck from the rear and the driver’s side once it stopped.

Katherine Gonzalez said officers were in front of her vehicle, a few feet away from the UPS truck, when the shootout started “out of nowhere."

“It was shocking," she said.

News helicopters were following the chase and at least one showed the conclusion live, with one person falling out of the vehicle’s passenger side after several shots were fired. It was unclear if the shots were fired from inside the truck, from law enforcement who were moving in or some combination thereof. The fourth victim, in another car at the intersection, was “an innocent bystander,” Piro said.

“This is what dangerous people do to get away,” Hudak said. “And this is what people will do to avoid capture.”

Piro was asked if there was a chance that either the driver or the bystander may have been hit by a bullet fired by police.

“It is very, very early on in the investigation and it would be completely inappropriate to discuss that,” Piro said. “We have just began to process the crime scene. As you can imagine, this is going to be a very complicated crime scene.”

During the robbery, a bullet hit a window at Coral Gables’ City Hall, which was locked down, Hudak said. No one inside City Hall was believed to be injured, Hudak said.

Hudak said officers responded within 90 seconds, including one officer on foot who was involved in a nearby traffic stop. It was not immediately clear if anything from the jewelry store was taken, Hudak said.

Hours after the chase ended, medical gauze, wrappers and other debris remained strewn across the Miramar roadway’s middle lane, next to the truck which still had its right rear door open. Traffic remained snarled, and it was not clear how long it would take investigators to clear the scene.

There are multiple crime scenes - the jewelry store, the site where the UPS truck was stolen, and the intersection where the incident ended, adding to the challenge investigators will face in piecing together the details.

UPS spokesman David Graves said the company would cooperate with authorities.

“We are deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence," Graves said in a statement. “We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employee and the other innocent victims involved in this incident."

___

Reynolds reported from Miami.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Top StoriesNewsMore>>

  • Police: Waze app directs Atlantic City-bound drivers into wilderness

    Police: Waze app directs Atlantic City-bound drivers into wilderness

    Tuesday, January 21 2020 8:19 AM EST2020-01-21 13:19:15 GMT
    Police: Waze app directs Atlantic Casino-bound drivers into wildernessPolice: Waze app directs Atlantic Casino-bound drivers into wilderness
    Police: Waze app directs Atlantic Casino-bound drivers into wildernessPolice: Waze app directs Atlantic Casino-bound drivers into wilderness
    Police in Jackson Township say an ad in the Waze navigation app is misdirecting motorists headed to Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa into the wilderness of New Jersey's Pinelands.
    Police in Jackson Township say an ad in the Waze navigation app is misdirecting motorists headed to Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa into the wilderness of New Jersey's Pinelands.
  • Buckle up: What to watch as impeachment trial takes off

    Buckle up: What to watch as impeachment trial takes off

    Tuesday, January 21 2020 12:46 AM EST2020-01-21 05:46:54 GMT
    Tuesday, January 21 2020 9:46 AM EST2020-01-21 14:46:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. It...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. It...
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. It...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. It...
    Senators like to float above messy politics in what's known by some as the dignified “upper chamber," home of Congress' cooler heads and lofty rhetoric.
    Senators like to float above messy politics in what's known by some as the dignified “upper chamber," home of Congress' cooler heads and lofty rhetoric.
  • Ellen DeGeneres surprises NJ family with siblings that all share same birthday

    Ellen DeGeneres surprises NJ family with siblings that all share same birthday

    Tuesday, January 21 2020 8:28 AM EST2020-01-21 13:28:54 GMT
    Ellen DeGeneres surprises NJ family with siblings that all share same birthdayEllen DeGeneres surprises NJ family with siblings that all share same birthday
    Ellen DeGeneres surprises NJ family with siblings that all share same birthdayEllen DeGeneres surprises NJ family with siblings that all share same birthday
    One family in New Jersey has three siblings that all have the same exact birthday – Nov. 30, and during an interview with News 12’s Brian Donahue, they mentioned Ellen DeGeneres multiple times, and hoped to one day be on her show.
    One family in New Jersey has three siblings that all have the same exact birthday – Nov. 30, and during an interview with News 12’s Brian Donahue, they mentioned Ellen DeGeneres multiple times, and hoped to one day be on her show.
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."