A Miami-Dade County police officer shot and killed a man Tuesday after authorities said the man drove his car into a pedestrian, led officers on a chase, abandoned his car and then tried to grab an officer’s gun in a struggle.
The incident began just after 1 p.m. when a man in a gray Kia sedan plowed into a pedestrian at South Dixie Highway and Kendall Drive in Pinecrest. The pedestrian, who was not immediately identified, suffered life-threatening injuries and might lose a leg, Miami-Dade police spokesman Roy Rutland said.
The driver sped away, with Miami-Dade officers following, Rutland said. At least three car accidents happened during the pursuit, according to Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Joe Sanchez.
Police lost track of the car in Miami Springs, but officers found the driver, who had abandoned the car, in an alley between De Leon and South drives in an area north of Miami International Airport. The unidentified man tried to grab an officer’s gun, Rutland said.
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“The subject was trying to disarm the officer,” Rutland said. A back-up officer arrived, he said, and “discharged his gun.”
“We have had officers die from their own firearms after being taken from them. We are fortunate that we are not dealing with that today,” Rutland said.
Police continued to investigate the chain of events Tuesday night. Yellow police tape cordoned off a block-long stretch along Labaron Drive in Miami Springs.
Meanwhile, Miami Springs residents were on edge Tuesday afternoon.
“I heard two or three gunshots and went back inside,” said Nicholas Cruz, 14, who lives on De Leon Drive. Nicholas’ father, Jose Cruz, said he was surprised by the police activity in the area.
“You don’t see this action around here,” Cruz said.