The white Kia with dark tinted windows eased out of a parking lot, then drove slowly past a group of teens in Southwest Miami-Dade, before it backed up and its front passenger window was lowered.
Then, police said, Christopher Jones, 16, got out of the passenger-side door, leaned back against the door frame and pointed a silver semi-automatic handgun at the teens.
“Where’s your brother? Where’s your brother?” the teens said Jones demanded, before getting back in the car and driving off.
Within an hour of that confrontation on Wednesday, cops would spot the Kia, its occupants would bail, and Latavis Graham, 16, would be shot by a Miami-Dade detective who said Graham had been pointed a gun at him. Graham was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.
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“Investigation revealed all victim law enforcement officers had a well-founded fear the defendant was capable of inflicting great bodily harm or death,” a police report says.
Graham and Jones were captured immediately. A third teen, Kennen Brown, 15, eluded police for a few hours before they found him a few blocks from the shooting scene. The three teens are facing felony charges.
Police said the Kia transporting the trio was stolen during a carjacking on May 17.
Graham has been charged with aggravated assault of a law-enforcement officer and possession of a firearm by a minor. Brown is facing one count of grand theft, and Jones has been charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a minor.
The police-involved shooting in South Dade on Wednesday was the second in less than two hours. Earlier that morning, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper in Miami Gardens who was trapped between two cars and jumped on a car hood fired through the windshield, killing a man.
Police and witnesses said the events that led to Graham’s shooting began at noon on Wednesday when an officer working on the county’s undercover Robbery Intervention Detail was approached by a woman who said her son had just been threatened by a group of teens.
Police would soon learn that the woman’s son and friends were threatened on a street next to a pawn-shop parking lot at Southwest 215th Street and 114th Court. Within 30 minutes, police said they spotted the Kia with no tag — initially reported to be a Hyundai — a few blocks away at Southwest 223rd Street and 116th Avenue.
There, officers in an unmarked vehicle activated emergency lights to stop the car. It stopped, police said, but the three teens took off. Police said Graham initially pointed his gun at two cops and that one of the officers got out and fired her weapon but missed.
Then another officer pulled up “and gave the defendant loud verbal commands to stop and drop the defendant’s weapon,” an arrest affidavit says. Graham disobeyed the command, police said, and he was shot.
Police said they recovered two guns.