Scores of shoppers at Flea Market USA on Sunday had to dive for cover after officers opened fire in the parking lot on two suspects inside a minivan, Miami-Dade police said.
One suspect was killed in the hail of bullets and a second was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The condition of that person, or how they were injured, is unclear.
Police said the incident began around 4:30 p.m. with a report that a home invasion had occurred not far from the flea market mall at Northwest 79th Street and 30th Avenue, Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Rosanna Cordero-Stutz said.
The victim of the home invasion apparently followed the suspects to the flea market, then alerted police already working at the mall.
Officers identified a older gold minivan in the parking lot as the one that may have been involved in the earlier home invasion.
Two officers, one in an unmarked unit, tried to approach the van. When the officers climbed out their cars, the driver of the van reportedly hit the gas and rammed one police unit and other vehicles in an effort to get away, Cordero-Stutz said.
Police said the officers then opened fire on the van. Witnesses reported hearing more than a dozen shots, as shoppers in the parking lot ran.
When the bullets stopped, the driver of the van was dead on the scene; his passenger was taken to JMH. Its unclear if that person was struck by bullets or flying glass.
Police said investigators will determine who fired first and if the home invasion suspects were armed; and if they were, whether they also fired their weapons, Cordero-Stutz said.
They have not released the department to which the officers involved belong.
After the incident, shoppers said they saw the vans side windows shot out and a yellow tarp covering the body of the driver.
Some shoppers spent the rest of afternoon giving statements to police about what they witnessed or waiting to get to their parked cars.
The Miami Herald staff contributed to this report