Four people were killed Thursday after two suspects in an attempted robbery of a jewelry store in Coral Gables, Florida, hijacked a UPS truck and led police on a dramatic chase across several counties during rush hour that concluded with a deadly shootout in Miramar.
The two suspects, the UPS driver and a nearby motorist were killed in the crowded intersection where the chase came to a halt about 20 miles from where the incident originated, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro.
Here’s what we know about the tragic incident, along with the shocking video:
The Suspects Fired Shots Inside the Jewelry Store Before Hijacking the UPS Truck & Fleeing, Police Say
Coral Gables police received a silent alarm shortly after 4 p.m. from the Regent Jewelers store in the city’s downtown stretch of Miracle Mile.
The suspects were at the store and shots were being fired when police arrived within 90 seconds of receiving the call, said Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak.
The owner of the store exchanged fire with the suspects before they fled in a U-Haul van. A female employee of the jewelry store was being treated for undisclosed injuries, said Hudak.
CBS4’s David Sutta reported that the burglars were after diamonds and may have cased the store.
The two suspects ditched the van and then carjacked the UPS truck, kidnapping its driver at gunpoint.
The Police Chase & the Graphic, Gruesome Ending Was Shown on Live TV & Streamed Online to Thousands
The highspeed chase played out for about an hour over several counties during Thursday’s late afternoon rush hour, with packages sent flying from the back of the truck, littering the highways.
You can watch news coverage of the chase, shootout and aftermath below from Fox’s Miami affiliate WSVN, but please be warned that the video of the shootout is graphic and quite disturbing.
According to CNN, the line of emergency vehicles chasing the truck stretched for approximately half a mile.
The chase was covered by news helicopters that followed the truck until it was slowed by a roadblock of traffic waiting for a red light in a busy intersection.
Police then approached the truck with their weapons drawn, using cars that were stopped in the intersection as shields to gain better position.
A hail of gunshots were fired at 5:35 p.m., but it is still unclear whether the initial shots came from the suspects inside the truck or the police.
According to the Miami Herald, the police union says “11 officers from the department opened fire” but the suspects “started firing first.”
“It’s unfortunate that the bystanders were killed, but the bad guys put all this in motion,” said Steadman Stahl, president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association.
Muzzle flashes and smoke from inside the truck could be seen from the overhead footage taken by WSVN.
An extremely graphic video showed the end of the shootout as police approached the truck (warning: the video is disturbing):
The terrifying moments of the shootout were also captured on video by innocent bystanders that were caught in traffic during the standoff.
“This is what dangerous people do to get away, and this is what dangerous people will do to avoid capture,” Hudak said.
The incident is still being investigated by the FBI, ATF and state and local police. Authorities have not named the suspects or the victims, but the UPS driver has been identified by family and friends as Frank Ordonez, a Miami native who lived in Hialeah Gardens.
In a statement, UPS said, “We are deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence. We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employee and the other victims involved in this incident.”
The head of the local truck drivers’ union, Josh Zivalich, also issued a statement, writing on Facebook, “It is with a heavy heart that I write this statement this evening. We are heartbroken by the tragic events from earlier today regarding one of our Teamsters Local 769 members (UPS Driver), who was carjacked while doing his job. He was ultimately victimized in a shootout after a lengthy police pursuit with the carjackers.”
Zivalich added, “The cowardly actions of the criminals involved that chose to kidnap this hard working young man to give themselves some type of “cover” or “shield” are precisely the opposite of what Teamster men and women are and stand for. We pray for the family of this young man, and as further information is available we will of course provide those details for Teamster members to show and provide support to his family.”