Four people were killed in South Florida after two armed jewelry thieves hijacked a UPS truck along with its driver and led cops on a high-speed pursuit that ended when the vehicle got stuck in traffic Thursday afternoon.
The chase began in Coral Gables and ended 25 miles away on a busy street in Miramar, where a shoot out erupted once the truck couldn’t go any further because of traffic.
Killed at the scene were the two suspects, the abducted UPS driver and a bystander who was inside an idle car near the mayhem, sources told the
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Jewelry store thieves in a hijacked UPS truck are pictured in a shootout with police after a high-speed chase from Coral Gables, Florida, ended when the vehicle got stuck in traffic on a highway near Miramar
The pursuit began shortly after a jewelry store in Coral Gables set off a silent alarm about 4.15pm, said Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak.
Cops responded to Regent Jewelers on Mariana Avenue in less than two minutes to find that the suspects had exchanged gunfire with the store’s proprietor, Hudak said.
The pursuit began shortly after a jewelry store in Coral Gables set off a silent alarm about 4.15pm, said Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak
A female employee in the store was found to have been shot in the head after a gunman’s bullet ricocheted off the floor. She was later reportedly in stable condition.
One bullet was even found to have struck the Coral Gables City Hall.
City Clerk Billy Urquia told the Miami Herald he was in his office when he heard a gun shot.
He then heard a second gun shot and then the sound of a bullet piercing his window.
‘The bullet ricocheted off the wall and landed on the floor’, Urquia said Thursday night. ‘The last one I heard was the one that came in’.
The suspects then made their escape in the hijacked UPS truck, taking its driver hostage and leading authorities on a high-speed pursuit. The chase was captured by news outlets and broadcast live as the drama unfolded.
Rush-hour had started when the truck made its getaway and as many as 40 emergency vehicles pursued.
The UPS truck made its way up the Florida Turnpike, then on to Okeechobee Road and finally Interstate 75 into Broward County.
The suspects fired upon cops during the pursuit, the Miami Herald reports.
After several running several red lights and harrowing maneuvers made in an attempt to escape, the truck came to a stop on Miramar Parkway near Flamingo Road because of traffic around 5.30pm.
Coral Gables police officers guard a crime scene perimeter at an alley way south of Coral Way after a robbery at Regent Jewelers
Motorists and bystanders watched as police officers frantically scrambled to stop the suspects.
Police in footage taken of the chase are then seen approaching the truck and opening fire into the vehicle, reports
Gun shots are fired, and a man’s leg became visible in the truck’s passenger side door, followed by another man climbing over him who covered his head for protection from the spray of bullets.
Kevin Reinoso of Miami tweeted a video sent to him by a friend of officers rushing in to stop the suspects and protect bystanders from harm
An officer is seen in KevinReinoso’s tweet shoving a man down to protect him as gun shots are heard in the video
Dozens of cops arrived as blood could be seen covering the roadway.
At least one person was airlifted to an area hospital after the violence ended.
The follow up investigation includes support from the FBI.
‘This is what dangerous people do to get away’, Hudak said. ‘And this is what people will do to avoid capture’.
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.
A UPS delivery truck involved in a robbery in Coral Gables and ending in a police shooting at Flamingo Road and Miramar Parkway in Miramar
Traffic remained snarled, and it was not clear how long it would take investigators to clear the scene.
UPS spokesman David Graves said they are staying in touch with authorities. He didn’t share any information about the driver.