After hours of negotiations with police that ended with a confrontation inside a Mid-Beach apartment Thursday night, authorities shot and killed a man suspected of robbing a Miami Beach bank.
The 40-year-old man, whose name is being withheld by police at this time, was the suspect in the robbery of the Regions Bank at 780 41st St. early Thursday afternoon. Police say fled to his second-floor apartment only two blocks away, where he barricaded himself during a standoff that lasted several hours.
The shooting marked the end of a long day for the Mid-Beach neighborhood along the westernmost stretch of 41st Street. Cops first responded to a bank robbery at 1:20 p.m. at the Regions Bank, where the man left two people with serious head injuries after assaulting them during the robbery.
He also left an object resembling an explosive device on the ground, prompting Miami-Dade’s bomb squad to come and a shutdown of a section of 41st Street for a few hours. As a robot was used to investigate the item, traffic backed up on the Julia Tuttle Causeway for much of the early afternoon.
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The FBI and Miami-Dade cleared the item around 4:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, by about 2:30 p.m., police were already negotiating with the man at his apartment. Neighboring units were all evacuated, and no one other residents were involved, according to police.
Police released a snapshot of the man from surveillance footage inside the bank. The image shows the man with sunglasses and short, brown, slicked-back hair in a long-sleeve camouflage shirt receiving money from a teller as he holds an object in his other hand.
The amount of money taken has not been released.
Eyewitnesses said he then ran home, just two-blocks away, and hid. It didn’t take long for the cops to find him, and after hours of unsuccessful talks, police used other methods, like tear gas, to get him to surrender.
It didn’t work. SWAT officers then entered the apartment to arrest the suspect. Police say a confrontation ensued, and the man died on the scene when he was hit with gunfire from two Miami Beach officers around 8:50 p.m.
Authorities did not say whether the man was armed.
In a statement released early Friday morning, Beach police said they were familiar with the man because of his record.
“The suspect was known to MBPD for prior arrests here, including arrests for other acts of violence,” reads the statement.
Michael Klein, a 17-year-old who lives in the neighborhood and came to watch what was happening, said he heard the flurry of gunshots before a cop signaled an ambulance to pull into the area marked off by police tape.
“The ambulance left empty,” he said.
The incident is the first since the city adopted a policy to bring in Miami-Dade Police to investigate officer-involved shootings when the administration deems it necessary.
Police Chief Dan Oates brought the idea to the City Commission in early May, citing recent scrutiny of the police profession. Commissioners approved the idea.
Beach police released a statement early Friday morning saying multiple agencies are involved in the investigation:
“In the interest of transparency, MBPD requested that the Miami-Dade Police Department assist in the investigation of this event, and Miami-Dade homicide investigators are working jointly with MBPD and the FBI in the ongoing investigation.”